The New York Club’s American Magic, the U.S. America’s Cup challenger, said it moved to a winter training base in Pensacola, Fla. The team was formed in 2017 to compete for the 36th America’s Cup.
A statement said that more than 100 American Magic personnel will sail and support “the Mule,” the team’s 38-foot test boat. American Magic’s presence represents the first time a Cup syndicate has trained on the Gulf Coast of Florida since 1970. The team is headquartered in Newport, R.I.
“Pensacola brings a lot to the table for our team,” said Terry Hutchinson, skipper and executive director of American Magic, in the statement. “Pensacola will give us consistently good sailing weather, a large and protected flat-water training venue, efficient logistics and a welcoming community.”
American Magic’s first exposure to Pensacola came last July, when team principal and CEO Hap Fauth and sailors Bora Gulari and Caleb Paine gave an America’s Cup presentation to more than 500 junior sailors, coaches and families at the Optimist U.S. National Championship, hosted by Pensacola Yacht Club.
“We’re excited and grateful that Pensacola Yacht Club and the local sailing community have embraced American Magic and extended their hospitality since our first visit,” said Hutchinson, a 16-time sailing world champion. “Pensacola Bay is a world-class sailing venue, and hopefully our time here will help raise awareness of just how great it is to race and train in this region of the U.S.”
Pensacola port director Amy Miller added: “Our hope is that we can work with tourism officials and our local sailing community to leverage this exposure and attract more training and competition venue opportunities in the future.”
The 36th America’s Cup match will take place in Auckland, New Zealand, in March 2021.