The Long Beach Yacht Club is the fifth challenger announced for the 2021 America’s Cup that will be held in Auckland, New Zealand. Cup defender Emirates Team New Zealand is the sixth team.
The challenger has been named Stars & Stripes Team USA as a tribute to former America’s Cup winning skipper Dennis Conner.
“Our name is a nod to Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes campaigns that defined All-American America’s Cup racing for decades,” Mike Buckley, co-founder of the current team, said in a statement. “We are the next generation.”
Joining Buckley at the helm of the new effort is former match racing world champion Taylor Canfield, who has been the number-one world sailing match racer for three of the past five years. He is a four-time winner of the Congressional Cup.
Justin Shaffer, who has experience in Major League Baseball and Facebook, is the team CEO. He will work with Tod Reynolds who ran the 2016 America’s Cup World Series Chicago. General counsel Melinda Erkelens has participated in five America’s Cup campaigns.
Heading up the Stars & Stripes Team USA design crew is JB Braun, who was part of Oracle Team USA in 2013 and 2017. The team is building its AC75 race yacht at Composite Builders in Holland, Mich., which was founded by former professional sailor Brian MacInnes. The build process for the foiling monohull was accelerated when the team purchased a design and technology package from Emirates Team New Zealand.
“Stars & Stripes and their yacht club are the reflection of the new America’s Cup; they value the history of the trophy and the event while wholeheartedly accepting the technological challenge that the new AC75 class represents,” Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand, said in a statement. “We are really proud to have two American teams competing in this America’s Cup.”