American Team From New York Yacht Club Falls In Semifinals
America’s Cup 2021, sailing
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Sports Editor
So much for Uncle Sam.
The Stars & Stripes, the red, white and blue and chants of “USA! USA!”
The United States has been eliminated from the 2021 America’s Cup race. The boat, Patriot, fielded by the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic syndicate, was anything but magic. Plagued by problems from the start, it fell to Luna Rossa of Italy in the semifinals the first of February.
As this was the only American entry in the America’s Cup, it means the USA will not be in the finals against host New Zealand and thus will not be able to recapture the coveted Auld Mug.
It certainly wasn’t for a lack of effort. Patriot was plagued by bad luck and problems from the start. For one, it almost sank. A rogue wave hit her at full speed, which lifted her out of the water and caused her to crash hard back into the sea. The force of the impact broke her hull and it took a frenzied effort to get her back to the dock, let along back in the competition.
Then foil function malfunctions (a result of the crash) caused her to sail off course in a later race.
The 2021 America’s Cup will take place March 6-21 in Auckland, New Zealand. It will be the host Kiwis against the two remaining challengers, teams from Great Britain and Italy.
An America’s Cup final without a team from the USA is like a sailboat using its motor. It just doesn’t seem natural. The USA actually started the Cup in the first place. It then went on to win the next 23 events, the longest winning streak in the history of sports.
It’s called the America’s Cup for cryin’ out loud.
But American team – which includes auto racing icon Roger Penske – sure tried to win. Repairing the boat after the near sinking in such a quick turnaround time was a herculean effort.
“It’s obviously disappointing,” said Terry Hutchinson, American Magic’s executive director and skipper. “There’s not a person inside of our team that likes losing. You have 135 ‘Type-A’ personalities all pushing for the same thing, in the same boat, for the same result.
“I have nothing but pride for what we’ve done over the last three and a half years. All we can do is take it on the chin, understand our strengths and weaknesses, and move the whole game forward.”