NYYC American Magic, the Pensacola warhorse © Paul Todd/America’s Cup

NYYC American Magic, the Pensacola warhorse © Paul Todd/America’s Cup

NYYC American Magic, the Pensacola warhorse


28/01/2023 - 15:21

Patriot, the soon-to-be de-commissioned warhorse of the New York Yacht Club American Magic syndicate is thoroughly enjoying the autumn of its days, proving to be the perfect test and training platform at full-scale before the syndicate’s next-gen boats arrive in short order. Almost the ‘grand-dame’ of AC75s, Patriot ongoing role may well be to inspire future generations, perhaps ending her days housed in a maritime museum with a back-story worthy of a serial drama. But for now, she’s still got what it takes, and more, to cut it at the top table of the America’s Cup and that scalpel hull form looks oh so relevant and inspiring for the new AC75 designs that are sat on the super-computer desktops of the world’s greatest naval architects awaiting the green-light to build.

“We’re just trying to make the most of the sailing we can get in while we're still in Patriot,” said an almost wistful Madison Molitar, a former U23 All American Men’s Eight rowing champion, and a key component of the hugely impressive cyclor unit on American Magic. Some boats mean more than just their components and Patriot, for sure, will be missed when the team’s AC40’s, the turbo charged rocket-ships, splash in short order.

But after a mega-session on Wednesday that covered almost 100 nautical miles, the team opted for an offshore session on Thursday dominated by straight-lining with one super-long data collection run of 44 minutes captured by the ever-present drone in the sky. Sail shape looked to be the focus of the day with the trimmers playing with depth above the mid-point and up to the head. So much focus remains on the lower third, where American Magic have a beauty of a system, but the translation of that control upwards to the really powerful and de-powering sections aloft are crucial once flying. The jib trimmers too were playing with forestay load to power and de-power whilst the clew position resolutely stays on the upper position as we have seen before on Patriot for max leech tension.

NYYC American Magic, the Pensacola warhorse © Paul Todd/America’s Cup

The American Magic chase boat team towed quite far offshore to find the late afternoon breeze and when it came in at a steady 10-12 knots, the call was to sail late and capture as much as the day as possible. Tacks and gybes were crisp to the conditions with around an 80% foil-to-foil success rate, as we have become accustomed to seeing with the team, and the power unit were absolutely hammering the newly geared cyclor system.

An interesting aside was picked up by Mike Pedersen of the Recon Unit who had clocked that one of the American Magic cyclors was now an outright holder of a two-hour Zwift record. For those unfamiliar with Zwift, it’s an app that places indoor cyclors in virtual digital cycling races, competing in real-time with other indoor cyclists around the world. Holding a record there, considering that professional cyclists mingle with the ordinary folk, is quite an achievement and one that perhaps the other AC cyclor units will be eyeing for bragging rights? One of the most fascinating aspects of AC37 is seeing the Strava stats and social media posts from the cyclors around the world – INEOS Britannia are currently training in snowy hills with the INEOS Grenadier Cycling Team whilst the Emirates Team New Zealand selection trials that were posted yesterday were a real dive into the ‘pain cave’ endured by elite cycling athletes. Tough gig signing up for the cyclor role for the 37th America’s Cup in Barcelona.

American Magic will take the weekend off now before another week of intense sailing aboard Patriot. The warhorse has plenty left in the tank.   


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