America's Cup 2021: American Magic on track to re-launch ahead of Prada Cup semi-finals

American Magic’s Patriot is all but set to return to the water next week. Photo / Michael Craig

This time next week, American Magic will be lining up in the Prada Cup semi-finals, just short of two weeks following their dramatic capsize on the Waitematā Harbour.

‘Patriot’ tipped over after tacking bearaway at 45kn on the penultimate leg of their race against Luna Rossa day three of the Prada Cup, with a rescue effort of more than three hours required to save the vessel from sinking.

The team have been working overtime to repair a massive hole in Patriot’s hull, as well as replacing the boat’s electronics and foil cant system.

Speaking to the Mike Hosking Breakfast, skipper Terry Hutchinson believed they were well on track to return to racing next week.

“Things are looking exactly as we planned and the guys just have to keep chipping along,” Hutchinson said.

American Magic Skipper Terry Hutchinson. Photo / Photosport
American Magic Skipper Terry Hutchinson. Photo / Photosport

“We know we’re racing this time next week … the timeline is what it is and sitting here today we’re in a reasonably good spot to get the boat out on the water a week from yesterday.”

American Magic haven’t been able to do it alone, however, with Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton offering his team’s resources to help their opponents get back on the water.

“The defenders helped us out with their boat building facility, really we’ve handed off part of the project to them to take on and that’s allowed our boat builders and shore team to focus on getting the inside of Patriot back to where she needs to be,” Hutchinson said.

“It’s been truly impressive to watch our team and the support we’ve gotten from Team NZ and you just know it wouldn’t have happened without it. Our goal is to get this thing back out on the water and make what happened last week a distant memory and get back into racing.”

Crew battled to stop Patriot from sinking. Photo / Michael Craig
Crew battled to stop Patriot from sinking. Photo / Michael Craig

Meanwhile, remaining Prada Cup challengers – Luna Rossa and Ineos Team UK – will take part in “ghost races” today due to Prada Cup regulations in order to be handed the win by default.

Competitors will have to take the start of a “ghost race” vs American Magic to allow the Regatta Director to award the point to the relevant team.

The race will then be suspended just a few minutes after the start. The rule of 25 minutes between the two starts will not apply.

The revised schedule will mean Luna Rossa and Ineos Team UK will face each other twice, with one race each taking place on Saturday and Sunday at 4pm.

The third and fourth round-robin races will determine the automatic qualifier for the Prada Cup final, with the remaining two teams facing off in a seven-race semifinal to determine the second finalist.

Prada Cup schedule – round robin three and four

Saturday 23rd of January 2021:
Luna Rossa vs Ineos Team UK – Start at 4pm

Sunday 24th of January 2021:
Ineos Team UK vs Luna Rossa – Start at 4pm

Heading into the Cup racing?

• Be aware that traffic will be busy, and parking will be very limited.

• Give yourself plenty of time and think about catching a ferry, train or bus instead.

• Make sure your AT HOP card is in your pocket. It’s the best way to ride to the Cup.

• For more ways to enjoy race day, visit at.govt.nz/americascup.