Stars and Stripes – Restoring America’s Yacht Racing Legacy

Recognizing a boat’s true value is a real talent and we feel fortunate to have such talent in our Yacht Broker Ian Martin. Ian has quite the reputation in the sailing world. He is a South African native and is well known for his sailing and racing adventures from Cape Town to the Caribbean and beyond. He competed in the Whitbread around the World Race (now known as the Ocean Race) on a monohull and still competes in Foxy’s Cat fight in the BVI. Ian and his brother, John, raced in a double-handed transatlantic race and set a new record for the elapsed time to cross the Atlantic which was registered in the Guinness Book of Records.

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The list truly goes on and now we can add a very iconic accomplishment; helping to preserve an important piece of race history, the 1987 Stars and Stripes 12 meter Americas Cup Boat. This famous vessel was the first US boat that won the America’s Cup, which is considered the pinnacle of yachting.

America’s Cup was first contested in 1851 when a syndicate of businessmen from New York sailed the first schooner America across the Atlantic Ocean for the World’s Fair in England. The schooner won a race around the Isle of Wight against a fleet of British yachts to claim the £100 Cup.

From there, the United States embarked on what would become the longest winning streak in the history of sport. America successfully defended the trophy 24 times from 1870 through 1980—until 1983, when Australia II became the first successful challenger to lift the trophy from the Americans. Dennis Connor and his crew reclaimed the trophy for America again in 1987 with “Stars & Stripes”, and is considered to be one of the greatest comeback stories in the history of sports. It was one of the most exciting races in history and Stars & Stripes became the most well known yacht in the world.

Stars & Stripes then was sold to a company in Sint Maarten where she delighted cruise ship passengers on daily races. In 2017, during hurricane Irma, she sank and was badly damaged. In 2021 Ian Martin decided to list her for sale, hoping to find a buyer who would appreciate her glorious history and restore her.

America’s Cup fun facts:

  1. It is the oldest trophy in international sport, predating the modern Olympic Games by 45 years.
  2. The winner gets to decide the race locations
  3. The most successful racer is New Zealander Russell Coutts 
  4. It costs $2 million per team to take part
  5. The famous silver trophy is actually a claret jug and was made by London silvermaker Garrard in 1848
  6. Sir Thomas Lipton challenged for the trophy five times between 1899 and 1930 but was only awarded a specially designed cup for “the best of all losers”

To the ordinary eye, this boat would not be an appealing purchase, but Ian knew that this boat was the boat that started the most famous America’s Cup Race and it needed to be restored. He brokered a deal with the New York Yacht Club where they would restore the vessel back to its original glory. The Yacht Club is now on a mission to raise money to restore America’s most famous yacht so that she can begin retelling her story and inspire future generations. 

Please donate to this very worthy cause! 


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