NZL 32

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NZL 32 Black Magic
Black Magic (NZL 32) on display at Voyager New Zealand museum, Auckland
Yacht Club:  Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
Nation:  New Zealand
America's Cup Year(s): 1995
Hull Type: Monohull
Class: IACC
Builder: McMullen & Wing yard, Auckland, NZ
Launched: 1993
Owner(s): Peter Blake
Skipper(s): Russell Coutts
Notable Victories: 1995 Louis Vuitton Cup
1995 America's Cup
Fate: On exhibit in the Voyager New Zealand museum
Displacement: 24.7 tons
Length: 24.24 m (79.5 ft) (LOA)
18.04 m (59.2 ft) (LWL)
Beam: 4.05 m (13.3 ft)
Draft: 4.0 m (13.1 ft)
Sail Area: 330 m2 (3,600 sq ft)

NZL-32 or Black Magic, is an International Americas Cup Class yacht that won the 1995 America's Cup. She beat the American defender Young America in a 5-0 victory off San Diego, California.


NZL-32 was, in many ways, the complete opposite of her predecessor NZL-20 which contested the 1992 edition of the Louis Vuitton Cup.

Instead of being the brainchild of one man (in the case of NZL-20, Bruce Farr) she was designed by a team of Tom Schnackenberg, Doug Peterson, Laurie Davidson, David Egan, Peter Jackson, Maury Leyland, David Alan-Williams, Anthony Lehmann, Richard Karn, Wayne Smith, Mike Drumond, Chris Mitchell and Neil Wilkinson. The idea was to produce a yacht that suited the crew, catering to their specific wants and needs. NZL-32 was built of carbon fibre by the McMullen & Wing yard, Auckland, in 1994.

Sister ship[edit]

Her sister yacht, NZL-38 Black Magic II, was used in the initial stages of the Louis Vuitton Cup in San Diego winning all but one race. However, Team New Zealand believed NZL-32 to be faster than NZL-38 and so retired her early, before the Louis Vuitton Cup semi-finals. NZL-38 became a trial horse for Team New Zealand's 2000 defence of the America's Cup in Auckland, and was purchased for the 2003 Cup by the Swedish Victory Challenge. She was eventually renamed Cristina.

Louis Vuitton Cup finals[edit]

With NZL-38 now retired, NZL-32 was brought out for the final stages of the Louis Vuitton Cup. She proved to be faster than NZL-38, winning 9 of 11 races in the semi-finals and 5 out of 6 in the finals against oneAustralia. As the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup, she now had the right to challenge for the America's Cup itself.

America's Cup 1995[edit]

By this stage, it was clear NZL-32 was far superior to any of her rivals, including the winner of the defender series Stars & Stripes (USA-34). With that knowledge, Stars & Stripes skipper Dennis Conner swapped boats for the Cup matches, taking the helm of Young America. While Young America didn't win the Defender's Series, she was widely believed to be faster than Stars & Stripes.

Young America was however no match for NZL-32. In what became known as a "blackwash", Black Magic trounced Young America 5-0 in the Cup match, and thus remains unbeaten in an America's Cup race.

After the America's Cup[edit]

NZL 32 (underside) with silver fern

NZL-32 was used as a trial boat for the 2003 challenge of Le Défi and China Team.

In July 2002, she was given to the Museum of New Zealand, however there was much debate over how she should be displayed to the nation. The initial proposal was for a 'glass case' with the yacht placed inside - a giant "ship in a bottle" - however this was likened to a "glass coffin" by many and as such was abandoned.

Eventually, following the murder of Team New Zealand's inspirational leader Sir Peter Blake, it was decided NZL-32 would form the centrepiece of a tribute to him. This was constructed at the National Maritime Museum in Auckland (now called Voyager New Zealand) and was named 'Blue Water Black Magic' - an interactive exhibit and tribute to Sir Peter. NZL-32 is suspended from the ceiling and can be viewed from all angles, with much of Sir Peter's yachting memorabilia exhibited around it.


See also[edit]

List of IACC yachts