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American AC Challengers Give Master-Class in Use of Foils & Breaking of Champagne Bottles

16th September 2019
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The first of American Magic's two AC75's is officially named DEFIANT in front of friends and family during a ceremony at the team's base of operation in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. The first of American Magic's two AC75's is officially named DEFIANT in front of friends and family during a ceremony at the team's base of operation in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

The New York Yacht Club have been having a busy time of it up at their Newport, Rhode Island summer base, what with running the intense International Invitational Series in which Ireland’s Anthony O’Leary took Bronze for Royal Cork, and also taking time out to launch Defiant, the first of their two foiling challengers to take on New Zealand in the America’s Cup.

As the images show, dedicated training in smaller boats means that the US challenge is operating in a foiling environment which is at an entirely different level to less experienced crew trying to do their best with International Moths or even Figaro 3s, but then the new AC boats are pure foiling craft to an extent which is light years away from the Figaro 3.

Another useful lesson from this short vid is that attention to detail should extend to everything, even to being a hundred per cent sure that in the naming ceremony, the champagne bottle is smashed first time out. We can think of one particularly excruciating occasion when a new vessel of great importance in Ireland was being named, and it took five – repeat FIVE – attempts to smash the bottle.

Personally I think the quieter ceremony of a gentle pouring of a drop and more of best Irish Whiskey over the stemhead is much more appropriate, but it seems the people want to see the champagne bottle being smashed good and proper, and they infinity prefer it to be done by a very pretty girl – hence the Edwardian expression “smasher”.

Published in America's Cup
WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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