The New York Yacht Club has announced that it will challenge for the 36th America’s Cup in early 2021. The club, which held the trophy from 1851 until 1983 in what is considered the longest winning streak in sports, last backed a challenge in 2002-03 with Team Dennis Conner.
“The America’s Cup has always remained close to the heart of the New York Yacht Club, even in the years where we didn’t participate as a challenger or defender,” Commodore Philip A. Lotz, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, stated. “For this cycle, a lot of elements have come together in the correct way for the Club to enter another challenge.”
The NYYC will be represented by Bella Mente Quantum Racing Association, led by John J. “Hap” Fauth of Naples, Florida, a three-time world champion in the Maxi72 Class; and Doug DeVos of Grand Rapids, Michigan, the president of Amway and brother-in-law of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. DeVos and the Quantum Racing program have had overall wins on the 52 Super Series circuit, and its predecessor, the MedCup, in 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016.
CEO and skipper will be America’s Cup veteran and two-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Terry Hutchinson, of Annapolis, Maryland. Like Fauth, Hutchinson is a longtime New York Yacht Club member.
Team New Zealand and the Challenger of Record, Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge, recently announced that the America’s Cup will go back to monohulls after the last two editions were sailed in foiling catamarans. Concepts for the AC75 Class will be released Nov. 30 and the class rule will be published March 31. Even though entries won’t officially open until Jan. 1, there are many pivotal decisions ahead for the team.
“The decisions we make over the next six months will play a significant role in determining the ultimate success of our campaign,” said Hutchinson, who sailed as tactician for Emirates Team New Zealand in the 2007 America’s Cup match, the last to be contested in monohulls. “The early support of Hap, Doug and the New York Yacht Club puts us in a very strong position. But we can’t take anything for granted. The race for the 36th America’s Cup has already begun.”