Patriot Will Fly Again

After nearly losing Patriot beneath the waves following her capsize on the Hauraki Gulf in Auckland, New Zealand, New York Yacht Club American Magic, the U.S. Challenger for the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada, is bringing the big blue AC75 back to life.


In the most spectacular wipeout in America’s Cup history, Patriot sailed into a 25-knot squall while leading a race in the Prada Cup, flew skyward, capsized and nearly sank.


Following INEOS Team UK’s overall win in the Prada Cup Round Robins, American Magic is scheduled to face Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, the Challenger of Record, in the Prada Cup Semifinals, which start January 29. As this issue went to press, the team had only five days to get the boat and all of her many systems ready to race.


A large hole breached Patriot’s hull, but an effort by members of all four Cup teams and local first responders kept the AC75 afloat. © Sailing Energy/American Magic

Facing both a formidable job list and another test of its resilience, the team was not about to let more than three years of tireless effort, innovation and ambition end in one afternoon. With skill, resolve, and the aid of both its fiercest competitors and most steadfast supporters, the American Magic team was working day and night to make a seemingly impossible comeback.


The replacement panel that was fabricated at the Emirates Team New Zealand facility is cut to fit into Patriot’s port-side hull. © Sailing Energy/American Magic



Design team members and boatbuilders prepare the replacement hull panel for installation.   © Sailing Energy/American Magic



Though the hull repair is substantial, another major challenge has been fixing the electronics and systems within the boat. © Sailing Energy/American Magic


“I’m not surprised by the quality of the work being done in our shed,” said Terry Hutchinson, American Magic Skipper and Executive Director. “Over the last three years, our team has always exceeded expectations and they’ve always delivered our gear on time and to a standard that is very high.”

Patriot sustained significant damage in the crash, with a hole of approximately one square meter in the port side of her hull. Remarkably, a repair panel was fabricated in the Cup Defender’s facility. “I think the thing that we are reminded of is really what the Defender has done for us, and what they’ve helped us achieve,” Hutchinson continued. “Certainly without them, [a repair process of this speed] wouldn’t have happened. We have nothing but high thanks for Emirates Team New Zealand for what they did. Patriot is coming back to life. They’re turning the boat on, and really the heartbeat of the boat is going again, which is really exciting.”

The 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada is scheduled for March 5 -14 in Auckland. To learn more, visit and ■


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