Memories and symbols of previous America’s Cup regattas continue to form a core part of Rhode Island’s worldwide appeal and image, and the America’s Cup Hall of Fame is located at the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol. Prior to the 2021 America’s Cup and preliminary regattas, American Magic plans to test their AC75’s on the waters of Narragansett Bay. In doing so, the team will follow in the wake of generations of Cup-contending sailors, designers and boat builders who turned the bay and Rhode Island Sound into hallowed racecourses.
Rhode Island’s Herreshoff Manufacturing Company (1878-1945) built their first America’s Cup “defender” yacht, VIGILANT, in Bristol during the winter of 1892/1893. This was the first in a long line of boats that defended the America’s Cup between 1893 and 1934, designed by legendary Rhode Island Naval Architects Nathanael Greene Herreshoff and Starling Burgess. Many other America’s Cup defending and challenging boats were also built in the area, including a series of boats constructed by Goetz Composites in Bristol and by New England Boatworks. In addition to opening a dedicated America’s Cup boatbuilding facility in Bristol, New York Yacht Club American Magic intends to enlist several Rhode Island marine and engineering companies in the effort to win back the America’s Cup.
“Our boatbuilding team is looking forward to working on and supporting the American Magic AC75 build projects,” said Tom Rich, Co-Owner of New England Boatworks. “Our experience working on-state-of-the-art projects like the BELLA MENTE yachts will allow us to manufacture key elements of the new Cup boats, which will undergo final assembly in Bristol.”
The team will look to mobilize local industry while also recruiting some of the world’s top international engineers and boatbuilders to the state. The combined expertise of the local and international engineering talent assembled for American Magic’s campaign will serve to reinforce Rhode Island’s status as a global center of composite technology innovation.