Traditionalists rejoice. Nearly 15 years after it walked away from the America’s Cup, the gang that started it all—namely the New York Yacht Club—is getting back into the game for the 36th Cup, to be held in New Zealand in early 2021.
Representing the New York YC will be a team calling itself Bella Mente Quantum Racing Association led by John J. “Hap” Fauth and Doug DeVos.
Since 2005, at the helm of three successive large monohulls named “Bella Mente,” Fauth and his crew have won numerous distance and buoy races at venues in North America, Europe and the Caribbean. Fauth is also a three-time world champion in the Maxi 72 class.
DeVos, as the skipper for Team Quantum Racing, has set the standard for excellence on the 52 Super Series circuit, and its predecessor, the MedCup, with overall series wins in 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016.
Also taking part in the effort will be Quantum’s Terry Hutchinson, a two-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and veteran America’s Cup competitor. Hutchinson, like Fauth, is a long-time NYYC member.
“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 Commodore Philip A. Lotz. “For this cycle, a lot of elements have come together in the correct way for the club to enter another challenge…. We [also] have confidence the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, represented by Emirates Team New Zealand, will host a world-class regatta that honors the spirit, tradition and majesty of this great event.”
Late this past September, ETNZ and the Challenger of Record, Circolo della Vela Sicilia and Team Luna Rossa, announced that entries won’t officially open until January 1, and the class rule for the new AC75 monohull (which will replace the ACC50 catamarans used in Bermuda this past spring) won’t be finalized until March.
Nonetheless, the NYYC team is reportedly already hard at work leveraging its experience in the area of grand prix monohull racing to lay a foundation for the challenge to come.
“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 sailed as tactician for ETNZ in the 2007 America’s Cup match, the last to be contested in monohulls. “The early support of Hap, Doug and the New York Yacht Club puts us in a very strong position. But we can’t take anything for granted. The race for the 36th America’s Cup has already begun.”