Pensacola, Fla. (June 1, 2023) - From October 2022 through May 2023, New York Yacht Club American Magic has called Pensacola, Florida its home base for training, and the destination is excited to officially announce that Pensacola will now be the club’s permanent winter training location as they prepare for the 37th America’s Cup in Barcelona in 2024.
Recently, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Pensacola is the recipient of a $3.9 million grant for the Port of Pensacola’s Maritime Center of Excellence. The grant announcement comes shortly after Florida’s Triumph Gulf Coast Board approved an $8.5 million grant to further secure a permanent headquarters for the racing team at the Port of Pensacola. The Port of Pensacola features world-class facilities and a convenient location, including a wide and deep channel, thousands of feet of dockage, extensive indoor and outdoor storage, direct rail access, a full range of cargo handling equipment and an experienced staff. With the addition of the American Magic facility, Pensacola is tracking to become one of the top sailing destinations in the U.S.
“Pensacola is thrilled to have the American Magic Yacht Club as a permanent addition to our destination,” said Darien Schaefer, President and CEO of Visit Pensacola. “The creation of the club’s new facility here in Pensacola solidifies what those of us locally already know – that our destination is a premier location for sailing with world-class offerings for teams like American Magic. As we continue to watch visitation to Pensacola grow year over year, the American Magic team will serve as another great draw for tourists and locals alike to enjoy.”
For the past several months, visitors to Pensacola and locals have experienced the 75-foot sailboat, Patriot, flying over the water at speeds of more than 50mph in Pensacola Bay. But American Magic is no stranger to the destination – Pensacola has served as a winter training base since 2018, initially for the 2021 America’s Cup in New Zealand. Pensacola’s geography and wind conditions made it an idyllic location for winter training for the American Magic team.
The America’s Cup is one of the most prestigious sailing race events in the world, featuring boats that are on the cutting edge of sailing technology. Boats like Patriot are likened more to aircraft than traditional yachts, featuring two large hydrofoils that swing down into the water and lift the hull of the boat out of the water, allowing boats to “fly” above the water. As Patriot spent the winter training and testing in Pensacola, the data and performance gathering was considered to be at a premium, with this team being one of its most active teams during this America’s Cup cycle.
Due to its deep-water bay, calm conditions, and protective barrier islands, Pensacola is an idyllic destination for sailing enthusiasts. This year, sailors can also enjoy the all-new Pensacola Bay Pier at Community Maritime Park. Located in downtown Pensacola, the marina will provide free public waterfront access points for boaters visiting Community Maritime Park, Historic Downtown Pensacola and its surrounding areas. The pier will be open daily March through October from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and November through February from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. With 48 boat slips available on a first come, first served basis, there’s plenty of space for visitors to enjoy the emerald waters at their leisure. Shallow draft boats up to 27 feet can dock in interior spaces, while boats longer than 27 feet are only permitted to dock in the seven exterior spaces on the north side of the marina along with accompanying exterior dock areas. Kayak launch docks and storage racks are also available for the public’s use. No overnight or after-hours dockage is permitted.
For visitors to Pensacola looking to learn more about sailing, the destination offers a plethora of sailing partners and experiences, including: Jolly Sailing, the Pensacola Sailing Academy, Key Sailing, Condor Sailing, Sinbad Sail Adventures, Gulf Breeze Sailing and others, tailored to fit the needs of seasoned and amateur sailors. The Pensacola Yacht Club also hosts about 14 regattas each calendar year.
For more information on American Magic’s partnership with the Port of Pensacola, or for more information on the destination’s sailing opportunities, visit visitpensacola.com.