America’s Cup 2021: American Magic adds heartfelt tribute to repaired Patriot ahead of re-launch

American Magic’s ‘Patriot’ is ready to hit the water, but not without a heartfelt tribute to the teams which helped make their return possible.

The boat has been repaired after sustaining major damage in a dramatic capsize during the first weekend of Prada Cup racing.

First-look photos obtained by the Herald show the boat featuring a sticker made to look like two band-aids over a hole that was repaired, with one a New Zealand flag with the words “THANK YOU”.

American Magic have spoken highly of Team New Zealand in recent weeks after being offered their help to repair the boat.

“Really we’ve handed off part of the project to them to take on and that’s allowed our boat builders and shore team to focus on getting the inside of Patriot back to where she needs to be,” American Magic skipper Terry Hutchinson said last week.

“It’s been truly impressive to watch our team and the support we’ve gotten from Team NZ and you just know it wouldn’t have happened without it.”

American Magic will launch this afternoon as they prepare to race Luna Rossa in the Prada Cup semifinals this weekend.

The New York-based syndicate are still viewed as underdogs, though, given the amount of damage sustained to the interior of the boat, which houses the vital electronic systems.

But grinder Sean Clarkson has high hopes.

“It’s a fantastic boat and we have a very good bunch of sailors,” Clarkson told the Herald. “I don’t see anything different when we put it back in the water. It will be business as usual.

“The boat is not at all compromised; it is as good or better as it was when we dipped it in. It’s up to us to go and deliver. I would take our boat any day over our opposition, so it’s exciting.”

After 9 days of round-the-clock effort, and the massive support of so many here in Auckland, back home and around the…

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