Sailing team Stars+Stripes, led by world champion sailors Mike Buckley and Taylor Canfield, have announced the formation of a development team to compete at this year’s Ficker Cup match racing regatta, September 10-12 in Long Beach, California.
The team will be helmed by current Youth Match Racing World Champion David Wood, with veteran world champion match racer Erik Shampain serving as team captain, and crew Madeline Gill, Ian Liberty, Chris Stocke, Reed Baldridge and Evan Aras.
The Ficker Cup is a World Tour level event of the World Match Racing Tour and official qualifier for the Congressional Cup, September 14-19. The top three teams from the Ficker Cup will qualify to this year’s 56th edition of the prestigious Congressional Cup, founded in 1965 and widely regarded as the ‘grandfather of match racing.’
Joining the Ficker Cup line-up are Pearson Potts (USA), Peter Holz (USA), Dave Hood (USA), Jeffrey Petersen (USA), Emil Kjaer (DEN), plus top ranked female match racer Pauline Courtois (FRA) and Nicole Breault (USA), current US women’s match racing champion.
“I am thrilled to race the Ficker Cup as part of the Stars+Stripes Development Team” commented David Wood.
“Spending the week in Long Beach training with the likes of Taylor, Mike, Victor, and Erik was an incredible experience that exposed me to the best match racers in the world. With their help I am able to have a fantastic team of professional sailors around me so that I can focus on driving. Our goal is to qualify for the Congressional Cup, and I believe we have the team to achieve that.”
Stars+Stripes recently held an open match racing training camp in order to bring together many of the top American sailors for a week of intense training in Long Beach. “Forming a development team is something that Taylor and Mike have been looking to build.” added Tricia Wilber, CEO, Stars+Stripes.
“After spending a few days together at training camp, it was obvious that there was a wealth of American talent and the time was right to launch this initiative.”