In 1983 following the victory of Australia II, Dennis Conner was dropped by the New York Yacht Club, and mounted his own Sail America Challenge. This would prove to be the most thorough, professional program the America’s Cup had ever seen. Five boats would be involved.
A design team lead by John Marshall with the yacht designers, Britt Chance, David Pedrick and Bruce Nelson built a completely new 12 Metre boat, STARS & STRIPES ’85. She was shipped to Hawaii for testing. Months of further testing resulted in a new faster, radical hull, STARS & STRIPES ’86; built to take advantage of the heavy seas and winds expected in Fremantle. All this development lead to the final STARS & STRIPES 12 Metre boat, STARS & STRIPES ’87. Development and testing continued until it was time to go to Fremantle. The three new boats were shipped to Australia. So similar was their overall performance that the final decision of which boat should race had not been made. Just days before the Regatta would begin STARS & STRIPES ’87 edged out STARS & STRIPES ’86 for the honour of competing in the 1987 America’s Cup.
Photo Credits: Bob Grieser, Roberto Ferreira, Sharon Green

In August 1994 during the Sesquicentennial Regatta commemorating the 150th anniversary of the New York Yacht Club held in Newport, Rhode Island, Colin met with Dennis Conner. Conner knew of the 12 Metre program in St.Maarten, and this discussion led to an invitation to race aboard ’87. On returning to the dock, discussions were started over a jar, which resulted in STARS & STRIPES ’87 becoming the next boat in the fleet. A significant factor in the decision was Conner’s knowledge that this would bring a lot of pleasure to many American sailors.

True North Canada II Stars & Stripes 86 True North IV
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