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Successful Challenger of the 26th America's Cup

Following his defeat, Dennis Conner is dropped by the New York Yacht Club, but mounts his own challenge under his home San Diego Yacht Club, called the Sail America Foundation For International Understanding.

It proves to be the most professional, consumate program the America's Cup has ever seen. Five boats are involved, the 'old' Spirit of America (1982) partially rebuilt and re-named Stars & Stripes '83, Liberty (1983) as yardstick and three new 12-metres.  The first one is Stars & Stripes '85, followed by a new faster radical hull. Stars & Stripes'86, built to take advantage of heavy seas and the strong winds expected in Fremantle. All the research and tests go into the final boat, Stars & Stripes '87.

The three new Stars & Stripes are shipped to Fremantle. The match between the three boats is even, but finally Stars & Stripes '87 is chosen to race the 1986-87 Louis Vuitton Cup.

The Vuitton Cup starts off Fremantle on October 5, 1986.  There are 13 challenger candidates: American Eagle, Heart of America, America II, USA, Courageous IV, Stars & Stripes, Canada II, Azzurrra IV, Italia, White Crusader, Challenge France, French Kiss and New Zealand.

The Louis Vuitton Cup semi-finals are sailed from December 28, 1986 to January 2, 1987, with New Zealand and French Kiss on one side, and USA against Stars & Stripes on the other. Stars & Stripes beats USA in four close matches. The Louis Vuitton Cup final is sailed from January 13 to 19 between New Zealand and Stars & Stripes. Stars & Stripes '87 beats New Zealand by four wins to one. By winning the Louis Vuitton Cup, Dennis Conner is selected with his 12-metre as the official challenger of the 26th America's Cup.

31 January to 4 February, 1987, off Fremantle, Western Australia , Stars & Stripes races against Kookaburra III in the best of seven race series. The course is a 24.1 nautical mile triangular course with windward-leeward loops. Stars & Stripes beats Kookaburra III by four wins to nil:

- January 31, first race. Course direction: 225 on leg one. Wind speed: 8 to 18 knots. Wave height: 0.1 to 0.5 m. Stars & Stripes beats Kookaburra III by one minute and 41 seconds.

- February 1, second race. Course direction: 195 on leg one. Wind speed: 22 to 23 knots. Wave height: 1.0 to 1.2 m. Stars & Stripes beats Kookaburra III by one minute and 10 seconds.

- February 2, third race. Course direction: 210 on leg one. Wind speed: 12 to 18 knots. Wave height: 0.1 to 0.3 m. Stars & Stripes beats Kookaburra III by one minute and 46 seconds.

- February 4, fourth race. Course direction: 220 on leg one. Changed to 210 on leg three. Wind speed: 16 to 20 knots. Wave height: 0.3 to 1.6 m. Stars & Stripes beats Kookaburra III by one minute and 59 seconds.

Today, Stars & Stripes'87 US 55 is still sailing at St. Marteen.  She is in almost her original configuration and sails for charter.



This Stars and Stripes limited edition model features:

  • Scratch-built

  • Plank-on-frame

  • construction (very important)
  • Wooden and metal parts

32" long x 16" tall x 7" wide.   


Limited Edition, with marquetry wood base.     $2,900    S&H $9o   



For display case, please click here: Model Ship Display Case




"Thanks for the prompt response. I omitted the recipients phone # as this is a surprise gift to my younger brother who arranged a "race" on one of the original boats in st Maarten last year as a surprise for me.  He will be thrilled I'm sure.  Ps your prices are certainly volatile and rising.  The invoice $2400 and now $2900.  Well no matter, all art is capriciously priced.  Lou B."