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Advanced control systems for racing yachts

17 January 2024

MOTION AND control technologies specialist Parker Hannifin will design and implement advanced control systems for New York Yacht Club American Magic racing yachts and support the challenger’s pursuit of the 37th America’s Cup.

As Official Control Systems Partner to American Magic, Parker will use its proven aerospace and industrial technologies for systems that enable precise control of the yacht’s lifting surfaces and wing - providing optimum performance that is critical at the elite level of competitive sailing.

“Parker is thrilled to support American Magic once again, building on our achievements from the previous campaign and the trusted partnership we have developed together,” said Mark Czaja, vice president - chief technology and innovation officer for Parker. “Their elite sailors will helm some of the fastest boats ever built, and we look forward to the challenge of bringing the America’s Cup back in 2024.”

The upcoming America's Cup will feature the AC75 class, a high-performance foiling monohull. With a crew of eight members, the AC75 is renowned for its distinctive engineering and sailing techniques, enabling it to attain early lift and reach remarkably high speeds while foiling. The boat undergoes continuous enhancements, focusing on reduced weight and upgraded onboard electronics and software systems.

“We're truly privileged to have Parker as a vital part of our team,” said Terry Hutchinson, skipper and executive director of American Magic. "Parker has brought in world-class engineers and cutting-edge products that significantly enhance our capabilities. Their extensive experience in sailing, the marine industry, and the America’s Cup has been invaluable. As we evolve through this campaign, we have confidence that Parker's continued support will be instrumental in our pursuit of victory in the 37th America’s Cup.”

By applying more than a century of engineering expertise, Parker will integrate its controls, hydraulics and actuators into a key motion and control system that helps the boat achieve stability as it lifts onto its foils and accelerates.

“When the America’s Cup racing yachts begin to rise above the water, traveling faster than the wind, and you watch as they literally take flight, part of it does feel like magic,” added Czaja. “Our engineers are excited to apply Parker’s technologies and flight control expertise at the highest level of international sport, and we are honored to compete in this historic race as part of the American Magic team.”

The 37th America’s Cup will take place in Barcelona, Spain in October 2024. Prior to the match, American Magic will compete in the final Preliminary Regatta and the Louis Vuitton Cup, the Challenger selection events, for the right to face current Cup Defender Team New Zealand.