The latest Stars & Stripes has been unveiled at a naming ceremony in New York city

Dennis Conner, four-times America’s Cup winner, has unveiled his latest America’s Cup boat, the 79ft Stars & Stripes at a naming ceremony at the New York Yacht Club in NY city.

But like all the synicates, Conner has a tough time ahead. Before qualifying for the right to challenge the Cup Defender, Team New Zealand, Team Dennis Conner must win the Louis Vuitton Cup, which is a four-month challenger series starting 1 October , 2002. The winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup, which will be held in Auckland, New Zealand, earns the right to challenge Team New Zealand in the 31st America’s Cup Defense starting 15 February, 2003.

“Team Dennis Conner is honoured and excited to represent New York City, as we focus on winning the America’s Cup and bringing it back to her rightful home – here the United States,” said Conner. “The courage New Yorkers have shown in rebuilding and revitalising this great city gives our team the motivation and support we need to win back the oldest Trophy in sports.”

The New York Yacht Club successfully defended the Cup for 132 years, the longest record in sports history, before relinquishing it for the first time in 1983 to Australia.

The Cup is now at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland, New Zealand, awaiting the fleet of ten challengers from seven different nations in 2002-3.