WELLINGTON – U.S. challenger American Magic returned its racing yacht Patriot to the water Wednesday just 10 days after a dramatic capsize threatened to ends its involvement in the America’s Cup in New Zealand.
Patriot was slowly lowered into the water at the team's Auckland base and was expected to sail later in the day to begin systems checks — the first step to a full return to racing.
On its relaunch, Patriot had a new emblem over the area of the bow which had been holed — crossed band aids bearing the Italian, British and New Zealand flags and the message: “thankyou."
American Magic tweeted a picture of the new emblem and said “after 9 days of round-the-clock effort, and the massive support of so many here in Auckland, back home and around the world, PATRIOT is back in her natural element.”
“The Prada Cup racecourse awaits her on Friday.”
An American Magic spokesperson told reporters "the band-aid graphic with the three flags that covers the repair is an acknowledgement from all of us within the American Magic team of the invaluable assistance received from each of the other three syndicates.”
The 75-foot Patriot has to pass inspection by the Cup measurement committee late Wednesday in order to race against Italian challenger Luna Rossa in the best-of-seven race challenger series semifinals which begin Friday.
The winner of the series will progress to the Prada Cup final where it will meet Britian’s INEOS Team UK. The loser will be out of the regatta.