SAN FRANCISCO – Whoever wrote the article that has just shown up on New Zealand's stuff.co.nz website is grasping at Kiwi straws. Yes, the New York Yacht Club announced today that the name of their 2021 AC team, and presumably their two AC 75 yachts, will be AMERICAN MAGIC. I take at face value NYYC Commodore Phil Lotz's explanation for the name, and am thinking that it is an inspired choice – combining the names of the yacht that won the Cup for NYYC in 1851 – AMERICA – and that won the inaugural defense for NYYC in 1870 – MAGIC. Hence AMERICAN MAGIC.
I don't know for sure as I have no inside info, but for the Kiwi website to suggest that the "New York Yacht Club seem to have partly taken inspiration from Team New Zealand," whose whose 1995 winning yacht was named BLACK MAGIC, is a bit of a stretch – by 125 years.
Your Ed. is also reasonably certain that NYYC took no notice of the name of the Kiwi challenger for the 1987 Cup, KIWI MAGIC, aka KZ-7. It was also known as the "Plastic Fantastic" because it was the first 12-metre yacht, along with sister ships KZ-3 and KZ-5, to be built of fiberglass. KZ-7 made it to the finals of the challenger selection series, then known as the Louis Vuitton Cup (for 2021 it will be the Prada Cup), and lost to Dennis Conner's STARS & STRIPES '87. DC & Co., racing for San Diego Yacht Club, went on to defeat Iain Murray's KOOKABURRA in the 1987 AC Match off Perth, Western Australia.
One friend today commented that NYYC's new logo reminds him of the logo of the Newport Shipyard owned by former NYYC Commodore Charlie Dana.
Others, your Ed. included, see a resemblance to Bill Koch's AMERICA CUBED logo from his 1992 Cup-winning team (photo below).
Yet others had trouble at first discerning the eagle in the new logo, and thought it looked more like the Phoenix Rising. If so, maybe that's a good sign for NYYC who are mounting their fourth challenge for the Cup since losing it to the Aussies in 1983. Prior challenges were in 1987, 2000 and 2003. After holding the Cup for 132 years, widely regarded as the longest winning streak in international sports, and without it now for what will be 38 years in 2021, will NYYC rise again to the top in the 2021 Cup?
Bill Koch's AMERICA CUBED team celebrating after defeating the Italian challenger, IL MORO DI VENEZIA, to successfully defend the America's Cup for San Diego Yacht Club in 1992.
NYYC's 1851 AC winner, the yacht AMERICA, and the winner of the first NYYC defense in1870, MAGIC (foreground).