Quiet confidence oozes from American Magic as Prada Cup is about to begin

LAWRENCE SMITH/Stuff

American Magic skipper Terry Hutchinson says they haven’t stopped working on how to find more speed as the racing is about to get serious.

American Magic skipper and executive director Terry Hutchinson isn’t the type of person to make boastful claims, but he appeared quietly optimistic at the launch of the Prada Cup on Thursday.

He has every right to feel like that, as American Magic go into it as favourites and were the only team defeat Emirates Team New Zealand during the pre Christmas World Series.

So confidence is naturally high among the team, but Hutchinson says they haven’t rested on their laurels.

“The Christmas Cup is in the past and so we’re moving forward to the future,” Hutchinson said.

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“Those races were good races, but all three of the teams sitting here have all made steps beyond that,” he added, referring to the skippers of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, Max Sirena and INEOS Team UK, Sort Ben Ainslie, who joined him at the press conference.

“Our focus really is on the next month of racing and see where the chips fall.

LAWRENCE SMITH/Stuff

Over the next month, three teams will be battling it out for the Prada Cup.

“From our perspective, we go out to race with expectations and it was good to see we had the form on the day and at the same time it’s also good to see that we had room for improvement.”

As with any form of racing, there are always areas to refine and even though American Magic were impressive before Christmas, Hutchinson said they have spent the past month working on where and how to get faster.

“You’d never turn away more boat speed up wind,” he said.

“As a team what we’re looking for is that boat speed all of the way around the race course, boat speed out of the manoeuvre and you really look at all aspects of the game to get faster, up against the competition around the race course.

Phil Walter/Getty Images

American Magic go into the Prada Cup as the favourites.

“As we’ve seen over the last week, everyone’s gotten faster, so it’s a circular discussion, because we’re all pushing to get faster in every single moment of the race and that’s where our focus has been.”

Just how much progress American Magic have made will be discovered in the very first race of the Prada Cup on Friday, when they take on a desperate INEOS Team UK, who’s skipper Sir Ben Ainslie will be praying that they’ve found some pace in their boat after a woeful World Series.

However, everything points towards American Magic notching up their first win on Friday, in their only race of the day.

“As a team, our development started the Monday after the World Series event and really, that’s continued on through to yesterday,” Hutchinson said.

“As all three of us sit here and in many respects tomorrow, with our wins and loss sheet, I’m confident in the process we’ve used to get to this point.

“As any good team, we’ve argued and debated all of the way through it and that’s always healthy from a team perspective, because we’ve continued to push each other to get better.

“Time will tell if it’s enough, I think it’s a great boat and it’s supported by a great crew of people.”

AT A GLANCE

PRADA CUP

Friday

Round Robin One – from 3.10pm

American Magic v INEOS Team UK

INEOS Team UK v Luna Rossa Prada Pireli Team

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