By the legendary Ben Dover, world’s best yachting journalist
Dearborn, MI – I can reveal exclusively to SA readers that the American Magic syndicate has re-formed to challenge for the next America’s Cup series and that the massive Ford Motor Company will partner with them to provide technical support.
Speaking to me from a private room at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan, Commodore Elsworth Q. Dellingberg III confirmed the historic agreement. “National pride is at stake here”, he said. “We can’t have those sauerkraut eaters at Mercedes or Red Bull claiming the best technology.
“As much as it pains us to have a relationship with some rather shabby provincial Michigan people ‘in trade’, it seems that Ford has the expertise and resources to ensure that the NYYC will once again fail with dignity in the America’s Cup.”
Ford CEO Wayne Kerr was decidedly more upbeat about the partnership. “We’re very excited to be involved”, he told me. “Breaking new ground has always been important to us at Ford, so we’ve decided to name the division ‘Project Edsel’.
“The synergies are obvious. When we launched it back in 1958 the Edsel V-8 had ‘Teletouch’ push-button gear changes mounted in the steering wheel hub – just like the wheels on today’s AC boats. The Edsel also had very soft, high-ride suspension. The foiling monohulls use exactly the same principle.”
Kerr was keen to point out another significant parallel. “The Edsel car was a financial disaster for Ford”, he said. “Our company lost more than a billion dollars in today’s money before the model was withdrawn after just two years on the market.
“Compared with that, blowing $150 million or so on the America’s Cup is chicken feed!”
Meanwhile, boss of the defending Team New Zealand syndicate, ‘Gramps’ Deltone, has welcomed the suggestion that the city of Dearborn, where Ford has its headquarters, might now bid for the AC37 hosting rites.
“Absolutely”, he told me. “They’re in the mix. They have a good stretch of water right nearby. The US/Canada border runs down the middle of the Detroit River so there could be some jurisdictional issues to resolve. It’s also doubtful whether the AC boats would fit under the Ambassador Bridge.
“But apart from that, it’s all go!”
(For the information of all, and in particular a certain Kiwi journalist: this is parody, not fact.)