The New York Yacht Club’s American Magic team is returning to Pensacola this year to train for the next America’s Cup.
Local supporters of the team are looking to partner with the team and promote Pensacola through the most viewed sailing race in the world.
Supporters also want to capitalize on Pensacola hosting some of the world’s best sailors over the next five years with the goal to drive interest in sailing with Pensacola at the center of a pipeline for future performance sailors.
“This is the brass ring being put in Pensacola‘s hand,” Tom Pace, commodore of the Pensacola Yacht Club.
The races use boats at the cutting edge of sailing technology. The current design of the America’s Cup boat, the AC75, is a foiling sailboat that can achieve speeds of 55 mph to 60 mph hour in light winds.
Pace said Pensacola Bay’s natural deep water, protected by barrier islands, makes it one of the best environments in North America for sailing and racing sailboats.
“It’s perfect,” Pace said. “It’s the Indy 500 of sailing racetracks.”
The American Magic team training in Pensacola is expected to bring in an $8.7 million economic impact over the next two years, according to numbers Pace and Merrill provided to Escambia County.
The team will have about 60 permanent members living in Pensacola with their families plus an additional 30 team members for temporary periods.
Pace said most sports marketing is done on a “leap of faith” that there will be a return to the sponsor, but in this case, there’s already going to be a return to the community.
The team will also work with the Pensacola Yacht Club and Pensacola Sports to create a 15-year commitment to create a training pipeline in Pensacola for young sailors.