Team Dennis Conner christened and launched Stars & Stripes, USA-77 yesterday
Team Dennis Conner christened and launched Stars & Stripes, USA-77 yesterday (Sunday 26 May) at a ceremony held at the team’s training compound in Long Beach, California.
A total of 300 corporate sponsors, New York Yacht Club members, family and friends attended the celebration, which marks the next phase of Conner’s America’s Cup challenge.
“There were a lot of smiles on a lot of faces today,” said Dennis Conner after his wife Daintry ceremoniously blessed USA-77 by smashing a bottle Champagne over the bow. “This day symbolises how committed myself, our team, the New York Yacht Club and our corporate sponsors are to bringing the Cup home to America. It has been my dream for 20 years to win the Cup and return it to the east coast. With these new boats and our veteran crew of American sailors, I feel this is one of the best campaigns I’ve ever put together. The bare hull of USA-77 just left Newport, Rhode Island two weeks ago and here she is going sailing today, which is true testament to how hard our whole team has worked to make this day possible.”
Up until now the team has been training in southern California for four months with Stars & Stripes USA-66, which was launched in February, and their trial horse, USA-54. The two new Stars & Stripes boats, which look remarkably similar, will begin their two-boat testing phase this week through to the end of July, when the team will relocate to Auckland, New Zealand.