U.S. Virgin Islander Co-Founds First All-American America’s Cup Challenge

Taylor Canfield (left) and Mike Buckle, co-founders of Stars & Stripes Team USA. Courtesy Stars & Stripes Team USA
Taylor Canfield (left) and Mike Buckle, co-founders of Stars & Stripes Team USA. Courtesy Stars & Stripes Team USA

He first made his name in Optimist dinghy sailing out of his home, St. Thomas Yacht Club in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Following an All-American collegiate sailing career, four Congressional Cup wins and a ranking as the world’s number one match racer for three of the past five years, 29-year-old Taylor Canfield is ready for his biggest sailing challenge yet. On December 12, the Long Beach Yacht Club, in Long Beach, California, announced its entry, Stars & Stripes Team USA, was formally accepted by the Defender and Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron as the fifth Challenger of the 36th America’s Cup. Canfield co-founded the team with fellow professional American sailor, Mike Buckley.

“The chief focus will always be to get as much support as we can,” says Canfield, who has wanted to win the America’s Cup since his Opti days and in the wake of fellow Virgin Islander, Peter Holmberg. “This being from fans and emotional supporters all the way to financial supporters. It is our goal to make our team as inclusive as possible and inspire generations to come. In addition to this, at this early stage we have some everyday business to handle including getting a boat built, filling out the rest of the team (shore and sailors), and of course for me getting more time on the water and in the gym.”

The team’s name is a nod to Dennis Conner’s ‘Stars & Stripes’ campaigns that defined all-American, America’s Cup racing for decades. starsandstripesteamusa.americascup.com

Carol_Bareuther
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.