© K. Urtz 2013
25th AMERICA's CUP 1983  Newport, Rhode Island, USA 
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Stars & Stripes:  12 US 55 the winner of the  America’s Cup 1987   After now 136 years happened the first time that an American yacht-club had to sail as a challenger
Yacht / Country:	Stars & Stripes ’87 /USA	 Sail Number	12 US 55	 Syndicate :         Sail America Foundation	 Yacht Club:	San Diego Yacht Club	 Designer :	:       B. Chance, B. Nelson, D. Pedrick	 Boat Builder :     Robert E. Direktor Inc. 1986			 Skipper:	        Dennis Conner 1987
After now 136 years happened the first time that an American yacht-club had to sail as a challenger and not as an AC87 defender. Dennis Conner had to challenge now for the LVC87 among 13 other clubs. But this gave him the opportunity to trim US- 55 in numerous races to an optimum for the “Fremantles doctor”. That is a hard and gusty off-shore wind. Many mean ideal for the under-rigged 12ms which are not dramatically fast in light breezes.    A crazy development were the “riblets”. The 3- M company produced self-adhesive, soft plastic sheets of about 40 x 30 inches which were placed all over the underwater hull. They had longitudinal, very small V-shaped grooves like that of a gramophone disc. Very simply explained these grooves caused microscopic small turbulences between the hull and the surrounding water-flow. This kind of “separation” made the boat more “slippery” and faster. The team estimated time advantages of 15 sec (hard wind ) up to 1 min ( light breeze ) on the racing course.
In the LVC Final Dennis Conner defeated  KZ-7 “Kiwi Magic” from New Zealand helmed by her tough skipper Chris Dickson.  The Kiwi had won up to now 37 races and lost only one – this final of the LVC.
© San Diego Boat Movers * http://sandiegoboatmovers.com/
* in their elder, but now changed website the San Diego Boat Movers commented this picture as: 12 meter class, wing-keeled, 'STARS & STRIPES' 1987 is shown here being put on display at the Hotel Del Coronado in 1988. Note the rectangular patches of peeling material on the hull bottom. These clear adhesive stick-ons, which feel like shark skin, were developed by  3-M to make a hull slide through the water faster. In the 1987 A/C  challenge in Australia, Dennis Conner's 'STARS & STRIPES' defeated Australian defender 'KOOKABURRA'  in four straight wins, bringing the cup home to the San Diego Yacht Club. There were 13 challengers, 6 from the U.S.