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Thread: Stars & Stripes Team USA Announces Acceptance

  1. #1
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Stars & Stripes Team USA Announces Acceptance

    Long Beach, CA (December 12, 2018) – Long Beach Yacht Club announced today that its entry, Stars & Stripes Team USA, has formally been accepted by the Defender and Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron as the fifth Challenger of the 36th America’s Cup.

    Co-founded by professional American sailors Mike Buckley and Taylor Canfield, the team represents the first all-American team in over fifteen years to compete for the oldest trophy in international sport.

    “Our goal is to win the America’s Cup by building an inclusive and authentic, American team that reignites the passion for sailing in this country,” said Buckley, a 36-year-old native of New York City, NY.

    “We have been working on this team for over a year now and I’m thrilled we can finally break the news that our Challenge has been accepted.”

    Buckley and Canfield’s vision, to define the next generation of American sailing, accelerated earlier this year after the two won the 2018 Congressional Cup, defeating veteran Kiwi, America’s Cup skipper, Dean Barker.

    Since then, the team has experienced an incredible wave of home-grown support for their mission, a goal Buckley explains that is woven into the renewal of one of the most recognizable brands in the America’s Cup.

    “Our name is a nod to Dennis Conner’s ‘Stars & Stripes’ campaigns that defined all-American, America’s Cup racing for decades. We are the next generation,” said Buckley.

    “We feel honored to revive that legacy and met with Dennis in person where he affirmed both our use of the name as well as our goal to create an authentic and inclusive American team.”

    Part of that goal will soon rest on the shoulders of Canfield, who at 29 years old is the most dominant American match racing helmsman in decades.

    Canfield, who lives in Miami, FL, brings to Stars & Stripes Team USA a wealth of talent; the 2013 World Match Racing Champion and four-time winner of the Congressional Cup has been ranked the #1 match racer in the world for three of the past five years.

    “I think this will be a defining moment for American sailing,” said Canfield. “We have already begun assembling our sailing roster and will announce more details soon. It has been my professional goal to compete in the America’s Cup my whole life and I am confident we will be very competitive in Auckland.”

    Long Beach Yacht Club Commodore, Bill Durant, echoed Canfield’s optimism.

    “We’re proud to have been a part of Taylor’s professional career and believe his match racing pedigree will add to Stars & Stripes Team USA’s competitiveness in Auckland. We couldn’t be happier to partner with the team in their bid to bring the Cup back to the America.”

    With regards to team structure, Stars & Stripes Team USA has every intention to have a team roster that is all-American via a recruitment process that has already begun in earnest.

    Furthermore, as part of the team’s commitment to build the next generation of American talent, the team will consult with a number of global industry experts to grow American expertise for future America’s Cup efforts.

    Leading the design team will be two-time America’s Cup winner, JB Braun a Marblehead, MA native who brings with him 20+ years of Cup experience having most recently worked with Oracle Team USA in their 2013 and 2017 campaigns.

    Wasting no time, Stars & Stripes Team USA has already started building their AC75 race yacht in Michigan, a build process that has been accelerated by a design and technology package purchased from Emirates Team New Zealand.

    Beyond the design office, Stars & Stripes Team USA will also lean on the leadership and management experience of CEO Justin Shaffer.

    Shaffer, a 36-year-old residing in San Francisco, CA, comes to the team from a career as a technology and media entrepreneur, most notably with Facebook and Major League Baseball Advanced Media.

    Since switching his focus to professional sailing, he’s been active in several TP52 and maxi campaigns, and his combination of technology and passion for the sport brings unique perspective to the team.

    Other notable heavyweights in the front office include COO Tod Reynolds, a native of Chicago and the managing director of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Chicago event in 2016 and General Counsel Melinda Erkelens of San Francisco, an industry veteran who has participated in five America’s Cup campaigns, winning in 2010 with BMW Oracle Racing.

    Shaffer highlighted the momentum that Stars & Stripes Team USA has already gained as a unique indicator of its future success and is confident the team can compete with the already established teams.

    “Our funding to this point has come from a number of founding patrons from coast-to-coast who are passionate about our message and I think that’s indicative of our inclusive aim,” said Shaffer.

    More details on Stars & Stripes Team USA and their all-American entry will be released at the team’s public launch event in Los Angeles, CA that will be live-streamed in early 2019.

    About Long Beach Yacht Club:
    Established in 1929, Long Beach Yacht Club is located in Long Beach, CA on the Southeast Corner of Naples Island on Alamitos Bay. Along with its world-renowned annual regatta, the Congressional Cup, the Club offers educational resources and programs, social and public outreach programs, as well as youth programs and aquatic sports, year-round social events for members. A full calendar of social experiences for every season will create memorable family traditions.

    Source: Matt Knighton, Stars & Stripes Team USA
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  2. #2
    Good to see a 2nd USA entry, but man, they are SO FAR behind the other teams at this point.

    Good luck guys!

  3. #3
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    LONG BEACH, CA – January 17, 2018 – Stars & Stripes Team USA, American flagged Challenger for the 36th America's Cup, today released additional details outlining their boat build and design process.

    This information comes less than one month after the team revealed, as part of their entry announcement, that construction of their AC75 race yacht was already underway.

    "Since our entry announcement, the level of support we have received for an all-American team has exceeded our expectations," said Stars & Stripes Team USA CEO, Justin Shaffer.

    "From day one, we have seen an opportunity to create a sustainable legacy in American boat building and yacht design on our path to win the America's Cup," said Shaffer.

    "For a number of reasons, including the outsourcing of the design and build of yachts in the past, there are a smaller number of American yacht designers and boat builders skilled in creating this new breed of foiling America's Cup yachts."

    "What excites us about our grassroots vision for Stars & Stripes Team USA is that it creates new opportunities for the next generation of American boat builders and designers by having our all-American team learn from global experts."

    As part of the team's strategy to learn from industry experts, Stars & Stripes Team USA purchased a design package for their AC75 race yacht from Emirates Team New Zealand which immediately placed the team in a competitive position with respect to the boat build and design process for AC36.

    That package included a complete design for the team's first AC75 that is currently under construction, a design identical to ETNZ's boat one.

    Stars & Stripes Team USA also has the option to purchase an additional, basic design package for their second boat that can be modified with the team's final race performance enhancements (under the 36th America's Cup protocol teams are restricted to building only two AC75's).

    Throughout the build and design process, the design package also allows for Stars & Stripes Team USA designers to learn from the ETNZ design team, the same team that developed the revolutionary foiling monohull concept.

    Using this platform as a starting point, the Stars & Stripes Team USA design team, led by JB Braun, has been able to focus on innovative performance solutions to improve upon the design package in areas including appendage design, software, and sail design, amongst others.

    Recent hires to that design and build team are Senior Engineer Alon Finkelstein, who immigrated to the States 20 years ago and joins the team after 15 years with Farr Yacht Design and 3 years with Oracle Racing, and Lead Construction Manager Dennis Gunderson from Maine, who has versatile project management experience in the boat building industry from classic yachts to carbon fiber super yachts.

    Also joining the team as Performance Analysis Machine Learning Lead, is America's Cup veteran Bryan Baker from Cohasset, MA who brings a robust background in computational fluid dynamics modeling and performance prediction to the design team.

    "The ability for us to grow American talent in learning how to design and build foiling monohulls was key in our negotiations for our design package prior to our entry," explained Shaffer.

    "In addition, we have made it well known that it is our full intention to take advantage of the competitive edge from this package and use it to win the challenger series and ultimately the America's Cup in 2021."

    Key to this advantage is a design partnership with North Technology Group that will have Stars & Stripes Team USA collaborating closely with their design team and construction engineers in Minden, NV to develop new technology.

    The decision for North Sails to supply sails and design resources for Stars & Stripes Team USA has been spearheaded by Braun, who in addition to his role within the team, also serves as the director of design and engineering for the world's leading sailmaker.

    "Each Cup cycle produces an influx of design and technology, which keeps North at the forefront of material and design software innovation," said Braun.

    "With the move to thin sail skins as opposed to the rigid wing designs from recent Cup racing, there are significant performance gains we are currently exploring in how we manufacture and design the North 3Di sails for the AC75 rule."

    Ken Read, President of North Sails, echoed the North Sails commitment to advancing sail design and technology, a pillar for the Stars & Stripes Team USA campaign.

    "We are proud and privileged that our world-leading people and products have once again been chosen as the best of the best," said Read.

    "Stars & Stripes Team USA's design program is in the very capable hands of JB, one of the most talented sail designers in the game today, and all of us at North Sails are looking forward to watching the 36th America's Cup unfold. Personally, I am thrilled to see Stars & Stripes Team USA and their next-generation, American sailing team in the Cup, as their namesake was a big part of my professional sailing life during the 2000 and 2003 America's Cup cycles."

    Stars & Stripes Team USA is now able to confirm that they are building the team's AC75 at Composite Builders in Holland, Michigan and that they have retained legendary boat builder, Tim Smyth to advise on the build.

    "The choice of Composite Builders was an easy one for us; we are grateful to build our boat in Michigan and Tim's consult has helped our team get up to speed quickly," said Braun.

    "Rather than simply hire a boat building team and keep our AC75 build in-house, we decided it was both more efficient and had a more positive impact on the American boat building industry to invest in an existing boat builder. We are excited to finally announce our partnership."

    Brian MacInnes, founder and CEO of Composite Builders and veteran of multiple America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race campaigns, said his shop was enthusiastic to support Stars & Stripes Team USA's grassroots approach.

    "To date we have brought together over twenty American boat builders for Stars & Stripes Team USA's AC75 build," said MacInnes.

    "There is no doubt that the number of experienced boat builders in this country has declined over the past two decades and pairing expertise with those eager to learn is a proven method for increasing that number. We are already seeing this project's positive impact in Michigan and are proud to partner with this team."

    Stars & Stripes Team USA will soon be announcing details around the application and tryout process for American athletes and support personnel wanting to be part of the team. American boat builders and those interested in apprenticeships are encouraged to apply.

    Stay tuned to Stars & Stripes Team USA social channels and sign-up for the team newsletter at for more updates.
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  4. #4

  5. #5
    The Stars and Stripes team came in 3rd at the Congressional Cup over the weekend.

    That was their strong point. Now they have little to show prospective sponsors.

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