Defiant, the first AC75 built for New York YC American Magic, departed the team’s winter base at the Port of Pensacola on Wednesday, 27 May, 2020, bound for Auckland, New Zealand.
The departure of the U.S. Challenger for the America’s Cup from its Gulf Coast base, where the team has logged over 70% of its on-the-water training days to date, is a significant milestone in the campaign to reclaim the oldest trophy in international sports.
The team’s forthcoming second AC75, whose name has yet to be revealed, will be transported directly to Auckland from Bristol prior to its christening and launch.
In the meantime, American Magic intends to sail Defiant on Auckland’s stunning Waitemata Harbor and Hauraki Gulf while operating from a new base on Wynyard Wharf.
While it remains to be seen when New Zealand will open its doors to foreign America’s Cup personnel, Terry Hutchinson, Skipper and Executive Director of American Magic said that shipping Defiant to Auckland now was the only choice for the team once all logistical factors were considered.
“We can’t stay in Pensacola due to the approach of hurricane season. From June 1st onwards the team is uninsurable in the panhandle of Florida,” said Hutchinson. “Shipping now, and getting to Auckland in June, will allow us to resume training on schedule.”
“When we are allowed to enter New Zealand, American Magic will of course adhere to all quarantine and heath protocols and do whatever it takes to be responsible members of the community. Nothing is more important.”
Auckland, New Zealand is the venue of the upcoming America’s Cup World Series Auckland (December 17-20), the Prada Cup (January 15 – February 22, 2021) and the 36th America’s Cup (March 6-21, 2021).