San Diego – In keeping to its mission of building an all-American team, Stars + Stripes Team USA, challenger for the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada, today announced an open application process for athletes and professionals applying for positions on the team’s sailing roster and on-shore roles.
“Our goal is to modernize the typical America’s Cup sailing team selection process and we couldn’t be more excited to roll-out this initiative,” said Mike Buckley, co-founder and skipper of Stars + Stripes Team USA.
“In the last America’s Cup, the athletes were required to sail the most complex sailboats ever designed while sustaining their max heartrate for more than 20 minutes.”
“We are anticipating that the physicality of our new AC75 race boat will exceed that and are looking to build the most fit, skilled and inclusive team possible.”
Stars + Stripes Team USA will offer two paths for athletes wanting to join the sailing roster.
The first of these paths will be an open combine tour across a broad cross-section of sports to review American athletes wanting to participate in the America’s Cup; similar to the way other professional sports teams recruit for their teams.
The second path will be foiling camps for American sailing talent that will be held in Long Beach using the team’s GC32 tryout platform.
“We are excited to use using both formats which will give American athletes multiple routes to try out for the team,” said Buckley.
“In fact, in January we already held the first of our foiling camps with several potential athletes and it proved itself to be a strong model.”
Further details on the open combine, foiling camps, and shore team application process are included below.
All applicants, regardless of whether they are applying for sailing or shore roles, will be required to fill out the same application form on the team website which includes details for a mandatory application video to be posted via Instagram or Facebook.
Stars + Stripes Team USA will begin in earnest its sailing team recruitment with two foiling camps at the team’s home port in Long Beach, Calif, scheduled for February 19 – 28, and March 10 – 22.
Each two-week long foiling camp will be designed to push each individual sailor’s fitness and sailing ability to the absolute maximum, combining time on the team’s GC32 foiling catamaran tryout platform with extreme physical testing.
“We have been blown away by the number of sailors who want to be part of this team and the foiling camps are a quick way to get these athletes out sailing and see how they work with the team,” said Helmsman, Taylor Canfield.
“We are looking for sailors who not only have the skillsets and strength to sail high-performance, technically demanding boats, but also those who will slot in and fit well with our team from the start.”
New to Stars + Stripes Team USA’s recruiting process is an open combine tour for sailing team positions, similar in concept to how other professional sports recruit a broad range of athletes.
Aimed at increasing the team’s recruitment reach, the Stars + Stripes Team USA Open Combine Tour’s goal is to broaden the range of athletes who may not typically apply for a professional sailing position, but whose strength and overall athletic ability could greatly enhance the team.
Slotted to begin this spring, the Stars + Stripes Team USA Open Combine Tour will be announcing dates and locations as soon as applications have been reviewed.
The open combine tour will test athlete strength and conditioning in a one-day series of five physical tests including: a timed 2000-meter row, max repetitions within a set time for bench press, squats and pull-ups and a power output/endurance test.
“The open combine tour has always been one of the ways we envisioned bringing the America’s Cup into the mainstream, American sport landscape,” said Buckley.
“This country has such a deep and diverse athletic heritage and we think that inviting athletes from across every sport will only serve to bolster the competitiveness of this team in the long-run and increase the visibility of how incredible the sport of sailing is.”
Stars + Stripes Team USA is also in an active recruitment phase for its shore team, filling roles in several key positions including engineers, designers, boat builders, and other shore team roles.
As announced previously, the team is well underway building the first of their AC75 race boats in Holland, Michigan at Composite Builders and is actively growing the American design team tasked with optimizing the AC75 race boat’s performance.
As part of that build, the team is also searching for boat building apprentices, students and younger professionals who want to learn how to build America’s Cup class yachts and could benefit from the team’s foundational build process.
In addition, the greater Stars + Stripes Team USA shore team will be filling a number of additional roles in areas such as electronics, software development, and hydraulic specialties in the near future.
These shore-based positions will be vetted via an internal review process that will include interviews and trial phases for all applicants the team is interested in.
As with the sailing team positions, applicants are advised to submit their application through the team’s website and post an Instagram video per the application instructions.
“Winning the America’s Cup requires a team of talented and passionate individuals who share our values across the organization,” said Buckley.
“We believe that a winning team will include a mix of the best people from within and outside of the sailing world, all working together to help us win back the America’s Cup.”