Monday, August 29, 2011

Former Cup Racer seen from the Maritime Museum

Wednesday afternoon we caught up with sailor and museum volunteer Brad Holderman at the San Diego Maritime Museum. While we were chatting, we saw a former America's Cup racing yacht sailing out on the bay. I'm pretty sure it was "Stars and Stripes" but not the 1995 USA-34 International America's Cup Class (IACC) Stars and Stripes that is moored adjacent to the barge shown in these pictures, but rather a slightly order IACC boat, USA-11. So, we seemed to be looking at Stars and Stripes and Stars and Stripes. Part of the confusion is that there have been several "Stars and Stripes" even during the IACC era of the America's Cup... see list below.

It seems that the one out sailing was the "Stars and Stripes" that is IACC USA-11, based out of Shelter Island. In any case, it looked good!

Visitors to the Maritime Museum of San Diego often can view two former America's Cup racing yachts, Abracadabra and Stars and Stripes, which are usually moored on the left (south, or port in some of these views) side of the museum barge, plus a replica of the historic yacht America that gave its name to the America's Cup. In these views, the America is not in her usual berth on the right (north, starboard in this view) side of the barge, but the Californian can be glimpsed beyond.

If the 1995 "Stars and Stripes" is the one at the southeast corner of the barge, with the blue sail cover and rig partially visible in some pictures, then the IACC Cup boat out on the bay might be another -- IACC USA-11, the 1992 defender, as identified by sail number and by a partial telephone number visible on the sail. It's confusing because there were several "Stars and Stripes" during the IACC era. According to the AC website:

USA-77 Stars & Stripes (USA) 2003 LVC.
Sank while in testing in San Diego. Raised and sailed in LVC quarter-finals repechage Mascalzone Latino, location unknown.

USA-66 Stars & Stripes (USA)
Crew training and tuning boat for USA-77

USA-55 Stars & Stripes USA
Finished 3rd LVC Semi-finals
Owner Mascalzone Latino, on display in Naples, Italy at the Port of Naples

USA-54 Abracadabra (USA)
Sailed in LVC R-R 3, finished 9th
Sold by Aloha Racing (Waikiki Yacht Club) to BMW Oracle racing as training boat, later acquired by Team Dennis Conner as trial horse for USA 66 and heavily modified. Currently in San Diego for charter.

USA-50 Abracadabra
Sailed in LVC R-R 1 & 2
Acquired in 2005 by Next Level Sailing (San Diego, CA) for competition in local regattas. Currently sitting in south San Diego Bay in dry dock at Knight and Carver Marina, National City, California next to USA-49.

USA-49 AmericaOne
Sailed in LVC R-R 1,2, & 3
Involved in minor collision in the early rounds of AC2000 with USA-55 Stars and Stripes. Acquired by BMW Oracle Racing in advance of AC2003. Acquired 2006 by Next Level Sailing (San Diego, CA). Currently sitting in south San Diego Bay in dry dock at Knight and Carver Marina, National City, California next to USA-50.

USA-34 Stars & Stripes
Won defender series, discarded for USA-36 in finals
Charter in San Diego.
The 1995 USA 34 is based at the San Diego Maritime Museum and some of the pictures here show part of the rig and the blue sail cover

USA-11 Stars & Stripes USA
Lost 1992 defender finals 4-7
Used by Dennis Conner as trial horse for 1995 campaign, sold to the US Virgin Islands America’s Cup Challenge for AC 2000. Sunk in hurricane, shipped to Miami for refurbishment in 2002, and brought to San Diego for charter.


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