2017-10-12 / News

After years away, Newport club set to challenge for America’s Cup

After 15 years away from the sport of sailing’s flagship race, the New York Yacht Club will challenge for the 36th America’s Cup.

Florida skipper Hap Fauth has partnered with Quantum Racing founder Doug DeVos to represent Newport in its bid to overtake New Zealand in 2021. The link between the two decorated yachtsmen is Terry Hutchinson, an 11-time world champion who has sailed on both of their boats.

“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 was tactician for the Kiwis during the 2007 America’s Cup. “We can’t take anything for granted. The race for the 36th America’s Cup has already begun.”

The history between the New York Yacht Club and the Auld Mug is unprecedented. The club captured the inaugural race onboard the yacht America in 1851 and retained the ornate silver trophy until 1983. Following that historic loss to Australia II on Narragansett Bay, the club challenged for the trophy six times, to no avail. Following Dennis Conner’s failed bid in 2002-03, the club remained on the sidelines. Until now.

“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,” said Phil Lotz, a Jamestown summer resident and commodore of the club. “For this cycle, a lot of elements have come together in the correct way for the club to enter another challenge.”

Among those elements is Fauth, a three-time world champion in the Maxi 72 class aboard Belle Mente. “The America’s Cup is sailing’s most complex challenge,” he said. “Winning takes a complete team effort, and I’ve always found tremendous satisfaction in bringing together a group of individuals in pursuit of one goal.”

The syndicate also features DeVos, the Michigan helmsman whose team has set the standard for excellence on the 52 Super Series circuit, winning the overall championship in 2013, 2014 and 2016. According to DeVos, Quantum has been synonymous with hard work and team spirit.

“I’m eager to take everything we’ve learned there and apply it toward sailing’s ultimate test,” he said.

Although Fauth, DeVos, Hutchinson and Lotz have announced their intentions to challenge, entries don’t officially open until 2018. Also, the class rule for the AC75 won’t be finalized until early spring. Unlike the foiling catamarans that ruled the waters during the 2013 and 2017 editions, the 2021 race in Auckland will return to monohulls.

Return to top