American readers, do you fancy your chances of representing your country at the America’s Cup? Think you have what it takes to help bring sport’s oldest trophy back to the United States? Well now you have your chance to find out if you are right.
Stars + Stripes Team USA – the self-billed all-American challenger for the America’s Cup – has announced an open application process for athletes and professionals looking to fill positions on the team’s sailing roster and on-shore roles.
The team – led by US sailors Taylor Canfield and Mike Buckley – is running two initiatives aimed at finding the right people to staff their campaign, the first of which is an “open combine tour” across a broad cross-section of sports to review American athletes wanting to participate in the America’s Cup.
It is, Buckley says a similar approach to that used by other professional sports teams when they recruit. “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,” Buckley said.
The second recruitment initiative will be intensive foiling camps held in Long Beach, CA using the team’s GC32 foiling catamaran aimed at attracting the best of American sailing talent.
Each two-week long foiling camp is designed to test each individual sailor’s fitness and sailing ability to the absolute maximum, using a combination of time on the water and extreme physical workouts ashore.
“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,” said Stars & Stripes helmsman Taylor Canfield.
Meanwhile, the syndicate’s nationwide open combine tour one-day events will focus on testing athlete strength and conditioning using a 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.
“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,” said Buckley.
“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.
The tour will target athletes who may not typically apply for a professional sailing position, but whose strength and overall athletic ability could make them a good fit for an America’s Cup role.
“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.”
Dates have not yet been announced for the combine tour which is expected to take place in early Spring, but two foiling camps are scheduled to take place in Long Beach – the first from February 19 – 28 and the second from March 10 – 22.
According to Canfield, the demand for places is already high.
“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,” he said.
If you aren’t talented enough or fit enough to make the sailing team, don’t despair. The team is also looking to recruit the right individuals for shore-based roles including engineers, designers, boat builders, and other shore team roles.
With the build process for the first Stars & Stripes AC75 race boat is well under way at Composite Builders in Holland, Michigan the team is looking to grow the American design team tasked with optimizing the 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.
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.
“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.”
Still interested? Click here to go to the online application form.