Get to know the United States SailGP Team

5 JUNE 2019News
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  • United States

Since SailGP's kick-off in Sydney, the young American team has been billed as the rookie group, but after their performance in San Francisco, it's clear the United States SailGP Team is not to be underestimated. The close-knit "band of brothers" is coming into its own as the season progresses. The data shows it too; the American team spent more time foiling than any other boat in the fleet, and was hot off the start line consistently. On its home waters again in New York City, the this team is one to watch.

Rome Kirby // Helmsman

Sailing is in helmsman Rome Kirby's blood. Growing up in Newport, Rhode Island, Kirby learned to sail with his dad, Jerry Kirby, who has six America’s Cups and three Volvo Ocean Races on his own resume. After making the decision to pursue sailing as a career, Kirby jumped at every opportunity he could to build his professional resume, racing around the world twice with the Volvo Ocean Race; first onboard Puma's Mar Mostro in 2013 and then with Team Brunel in the 2017 edition. Kirby was the rookie onboard ORACLE TEAM USA's America's Cup defense in 2013, and proved his worth. He competed again for the America's Cup in 2017. He most recently won the Moth World Championship, showcasing his versatility in the sport. Kirby's calm and focused attitude makes him an ideal leader for the young group. He's intense on the racecourse, but lighthearted off the water when he's around his teammates. When he’s not sailing, Rome is an avid surfer and ice hockey player.

Riley Gibbs // Wing trimmer

Wing trimmer Riley Gibbs grew up in Long Beach, California. He was only two weeks old the first time he went sailing, and since then his passion for the sport has remained a constant throughout his life. At age five, Riley was busy every weekend sailing his Sabot in his local waters. Since then, he's graduated to bigger, higher performance boats, he's the youngest helmsmen to ever win a national championship in the 505 class, a 29er Youth Worlds silver medalist, and placed 4th at the Formula Kite World Championships. He’s got quick wit and a lighthearted attitude that lifts his teammates’ spirits. When he's not racing with his team in SailGP, he's campaigning a Nacra17 for the United States Olympic Sailing Team, with a mission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He’s a pizza enthusiast, who likes to take a slice on the go. When Riley isn't on the water in one of the various classes he sails, he's spending time with his cat, Miss Timid, who he describes as a "true fat cat."

Hans Henken // Grinder

Grinder Hans Henken has perspective; not only is his sailing resume extensive, but he's also a literal rocket scientist. After eight years of hitting the books, Henken graduated from Stanford with a masters in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, which comes in handy when racing the highly technical F50 catamaran. If Hans were trapped on a desert island with anyone, he would pick Dan Morris, based on the theory that between the two of them, they could engineer their own civilization. Hans has a bronze medal from the 2008 Youth World Championships and earned a gold medal in the Moth at the 2009 Youth World Championship. Sailing is an integral part of Henken family life; both Hans and his younger sister Paris are campaigning for the 2020 Olympics. Hans and longtime partner Judge Ryan hope to represent the United States in the 49er class in Tokyo.

Mac Agnese // Grinder

Hailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, grinder Mac Agnese is the youngest member onboard the American F50. Agnese earned his first world championship medal at age 11 in the Melges 24, and it wouldn't be his last. In 2017, Agnese won another world championship in the Snipe fleet. He also boasts a world championship silver medal in the 29er class, and bronze in the Sirena SL16. As if that wasn’t enough, he's also competed on the World Match Racing Tour and Extreme Sailing Series. When he's not racing the F50, he can be found on the tennis court or cheering for the Dolphins or Miami Heat. Did we mention Mac is a huge Eminem fan?

Dan Morris // Grinder

Dan Morris grew up sailing on his family's cruiser in his hometown of Edina, Minnesota. Known as a true team player, Morris fell in love with racing during the World Match Race Tour, winning in both 2013 and 2016. = Morris has also campaigned for the Olympics in the 49er, competed in the Extreme Sailing Series, and sailed in the International 14 and Farr40 classes. When his schedule eventually slows down, Morris hopes to adopt a pet Mastiff, who he will name “Kitty”. Morris has a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of Michigan, and gets on the water whenever he can - even if it's frozen. When Morris was six years old, he told his dad he was going to be a professional ice hockey player…thankfully that didn’t last long.

Taylor Canfield // Flight controller

Taylor Canfield knows how to multi-task. Not only is he the flight controller onboard the United States SailGP Team's F50, but he's also a challenger for the 36th America's Cup, heading up Stars & Stripes Team USA. Canfield grew up in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has been on the water since he was a kid. Canfield is a force to be reckoned with, but his fiancée, 49er class Olympic sailor Stephanie Roble can give him a run for his money. Canfield is a World Match Racing Champion, four-time Congressional Cup winner, and has been ranked as the number one match racer in the world for three of the past five years, winning a grand total of 14 World Match Race Tour events. ACDC is his jam, and despite his high energy demeanor, he enjoys the occasional round of golf. Canfield’s claim to fame? He has an impressive collection of hats.