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AC36: Mike Buckley (USA) reportedly takes over as CEO of Long Beach YC's Stars+Stripes Team USA

SAN FRANCISCO (#1202) – Mike Buckley (USA, right above), co-founder of Long Beach Yacht Club's Stars+Stripes Team USA along with helmsman Taylor Canfield (USA/USVI, left above), "will be becoming" the CEO of LBYC's challenger for the 2021 America's Cup. Mr Buckley, who is now also named as the "Skipper SSUSA" texted a press release to your Ed. this (Tuesday) evening as follows:

For Immediate Release:

Statement from Long Beach Yacht Club Regarding Stars + Stripes USA

Long Beach Yacht Club’s Challenge for the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada, Stars + Stripes USA, has not withdrawn from the America’s Cup and has no plans to do so. In addition to continuing its preparations for AC36, the Stars + Stripes team is racing this week in the 55th Congressional Cup hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club. Racing alongside team co-founder Taylor Canfield as part of his co-ed team will be Sally Barkow, George Peet, Jesse Fielding, Ben Bardwell, and Stars + Stripes team member Mike Buckley as tactician.

LBYC leadership along with Stars + Stripes team leaders Mike Buckley and Taylor Canfield have doubled down on their All-American challenge and will continue to push to the end. The team has made structural changes recently and Mike Buckley will be becoming the CEO of the team. In addition, the team has recruited additional top-flight America’s Cup management, marketing and fundraising talent, including some from Dennis Conner’s victorious Stars & Stripes 87 team, to join the team and its Advisory Board.

“The Stars + Stripes team and Long Beach Yacht Club have redoubled their commitment-to-the-commitment, as Dennis Conner was fond of saying, inspiring his Stars & Stripes 87 team to its victory down under,” said Mike Buckley, Skipper SSUSA.

“What Mike and Taylor have created has resonated with the American sailing population. We are seeing this first hand here within the community of Long Beach” said Camille Daniels, Commodore LBYC.


Last night (Monday in SF) we broke the news that the LBYC team were restructuring in our story posted here on SI:

As to Long Beach Yacht Club's Stars+Stripes Team USA and rumors Monday that they have paused construction of their AC75 yacht in Holland, Michigan, your Ed. is reliably informed that, indeed, that is the case. However, one hears that the Club and team are determined to carry on and, at least in the near term, and have the resources to do so. It is expected that the team will make and announce some mid-course corrections in the coming days, and could well emerge stronger – financially and organizationally. Again, time will tell.

A day later one of those "mid-course corrections" has now been announced, as articulated in the foregoing press release. Former CEO Justin Shaffer (USA, San Francisco) is out; so too, one hears, is former COO Tod Reynolds (USA, Chicago), who has been the director of the Chicago Match Race Center. Mr Reynolds is thought to have had close ties to initial major funding sources of the LBYC team.

Whether the team under Mr Buckley as CEO now emerges stronger remains, in the days immediately ahead, to be seen. One can only hope. No doubt the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and their representative team, Emirates Team New Zealand are also hoping, as they are keen to have at least four AC36 challengers for the edification of the local and central Kiwi governments as well as their AC36 sponsors.

Mr Buckley first appeared with your Ed. on our July 3, 2018 webcast, when he outlined plans for their fledgling AC36 challenger then known as Team USA 21; they detailed their newly filed Long Beach YC challenge on TFE LIVE on December 14, 2018....

Michael Buckley (USA, New York City, left above) has reportedly taken over as CEO of the Long Beach YC's challenger Stars+Stripes Team USA. Co-founder Taylor Canfield (USA/USVI) remains with the team as helmsman. Together they are competing in this week's 55th Congressional Cup, hosted by LBYC, as the defending champions.

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