As four AC75 crews sailed out to test the boats this week ahead of the America’s Cup World Series in Auckland, potential challenger Stars + Stripes Team USA finally conceded defeat.
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The Cup’s arbitration panel ruled against a petition from the syndicate to use Team NZ boat Te Aihe in this summer’s pre-Christmas regatta and the challenger series.
Source: 1 NEWS
The Stars + Stripes team representing the Long Beach Yacht Club and co-founded by world champion sailors Mike Buckley and Taylor Canfield wanted to be the first all-American entry in over 15 years to challenge for the Auld Mug.
But they never made it to Auckland.
Challengers for the 36th America’s Cup peaked at six teams being accepted for an opportunity to win the oldest trophy in sport.
A lack of funding ended DutchSail and Malta Altus Challenge’s participation.
Three teams – Luna Rossa, Team UK and American Magic – have set up bases in Auckland and have been testing their second generation AC75 boats this week ahead of a summer of racing in the ACWS, Christmas Cup and the Prada Challenger Cup before the America’s Cup.
Stars + Stripes was billed as a taking a “grassroots approach” to their America’s Cup campaign and promotional material said they wanted to create a sustainable legacy for the American yacht industry.
After announcing their challenger entry in December 2018, Stars + Stripes said their AC75 was already being built in Michigan.
As a late entry the team purchased a design package for their boat from Team New Zealand which was based on the defenders first boat Te Aihe.
In February and March 2019, the team ran tryouts for sailors in California before running out of money.
The team then dropped off the radar until in a last-ditch attempt to get to the start line Stars + Stripes in July this year went to the America’s Cup Arbitration Panel to query if they could use a boat built by another team in lieu of having their own boat to sail in the America’s Cup World Series event which starts on December 17.
The Arbitration Panel ruled out the Americans making use of Team New Zealand’s first boat but Stars + Stripes still did not make an official announcement about their status as a challenger.
According to sailing magazine Latitude 38 the Long Beach Yacht Club sent club members a letter this week which informed them Stars + Stripes have formally withdrawn from the America’s Cup.
RNZ approached Long Beach Yacht Club and Stars + Stripes Team USA for comment but neither organisation has yet responded.