NEWPORT — The Rhode Island-based America’s Cup challenger, New York Yacht Club American Magic, has announced another sailing community partner. Newport’s IYRS School of Technology and Trades will join with American Magic to collaborate and strengthen the marine and composite fabrication industries in the U.S.
With nine graduates of IYRS working in the Bristol production facility of American Magic, the team intends to continue working to provide professional opportunities for the school’s graduates.
Formed in 2017, American Magic is New York Yacht Club’s challenger for the 36th edition of the America’s Cup races, to be held March 6-21, 2021, in Auckland, New Zealand.
The partnership with IYRS follows American Magic’s announcement of collaboration with Sail Newport earlier this year.
“Our team was formed to win the America’s Cup and to help rebuild an America’s Cup culture in the United States,” said Terry Hutchinson, skipper and executive director of American Magic, in a prepared statement. “IYRS is helping us to accomplish both. It is a real testament to the quality of the school’s programs that we were able to plug so many IYRS graduates directly into an America’s Cup facility building AC75 yachts. Our boatbuilders from IYRS will help ensure that the U.S. can produce the fastest racing boats in the world long into the future.”
The America’s Cup is the highest prize in sailing and the oldest trophy in international sport. Initiated in 1851, the contest was held in Newport from 1930 until 1983.
“IYRS is thrilled to have its graduates be a part of the team working to build American Magic’s boats,” said Jay Coogan, president of the IYRS School of Technology and Trades, in a prepared statement. “The America’s Cup has fostered innovation in racing yachts throughout its history. It is exciting that American Magic is bringing together expertise across many disciplines to create this high-performance production program here in Rhode Island. An IYRS education shares the same high standards of execution using technology and hands-on knowledge that is being employed in the building of American Magic. We are honored to partner with a team doing so much for our industry.”
The first locally produced America’s Cup defender yacht, Vigilant, was built by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. in Bristol during the winter of 1892-1893. American Magic’s production facility is located a short distance from the Herreshoff yard, which now houses the Herreshoff Marine Museum and the America’s Cup Hall of Fame. Other Cup contenders have been built by Rhode Island companies including Goetz Composites in Bristol and New England Boatworks in Portsmouth.
“Working on an America’s Cup program is a dream come true for someone in the composites industry, and especially for someone who loves sailing,” said James Allsopp, a 2013 IYRS graduate and American Magic boatbuilder, in a prepared statement. “The boats we are building in Bristol are pretty special, and I think they will generate a lot of pride for IYRS grads, American Magic fans, and everyone in the marine industry.”
To celebrate the new partnership, American Magic Chief Operating Officer Rob Ouellette will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming IYRS Winter Celebration on March 28 at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan.