The New York Yacht Club is banking on Kiwi Dean Barker to return yachting's most prized trophy to the US.
The America's Cup challenger believes Barker, who has been named to helm their yacht, gives them the best chance for success in 2021, reports CNN.
It will be New York's first tilt at the Cup for 15 years and they see it as a chance to revive sailing in the US.
The syndicate, bankrolled by US businessmen Hap Fauth, Doug DeVos and Roger Penske, has gathered a strong crew for the Auckland event.
With the clock ticking, the newly established team reckon buying in top talent — rather than relying on homegrown sailors at this stage — is the best way to achieve their ambition.
"To impact the sport the way that we want to, we have to win first," said American Magic skipper and executive director Terry Hutchinson.
American Magic is the only US challenger, alongside Italy's Luna Rossa and Britain's Ineos Team UK, bidding to topple defender Emirates Team New Zealand, which beat Larry Ellison's Oracle Team USA in Bermuda 2017. Final entries for the event close in November.
Hutchinson believes American Magic can help "reengage the US sailing population" and "reinvigorate the marine industry" after criticism in some quarters that the cutting-edge catamarans of the last Cup alienated the grass roots of sailing.
"We need to bring back sailing to a younger generation," said Maryland's Hutchinson, who has been part of four America's Cup syndicates.
Having committed to the next Cup, American Magic's management team identified time as their biggest weakness, in terms of both design and personnel.
''Very quickly we had to have a sailing team that could understand the challenges we'll face," says Hutchinson, who has so far assembled a mixed sailing crew of Americans, Brits, Antipodeans and an Argentine.
Barker — a five-time America's Cup sailor who sailed with SoftBank Team Japan in Bermuda after a fallout with Team New Zealand — was the obvious choice as helmsman.
"There's very few people in the world who possess big-boat monohull experience and also have experience of the 2013 and 2017 programmes," said Hutchinson. "And I can't think of another person who is more due to win the regatta than him so it seems like a safe bet."
The radical and unproven AC75 boats, developed by Team New Zealand in conjunction with principle challenger Luna Rossa, will push the designers to their limits as they strive to come up with the fastest hull shapes and foil packages in line with the class rules. Each team can build two, with the first to be launched no sooner than March 31, 2019.
With the America's Cup set to begin on March 6, 2021, and with a number of warm-up regattas and the Prada Cup to determine the sole challenger to take on the Kiwis before that, the clock is ticking.
"You can have as much money as you want but you can't buy time," said Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena, whose team received 400 resumes from young Italian sailors hoping to make it on to their development program.
Ben Ainslie, whose Ineos Team UK has already tested a 28-foot foiling prototype, added: "The design decisions are becoming time critical. The designers are really earning their pay at the moment."