Having established himself as one of the best American sailors of his generation, Rome Kirby was named skipper and helmsman of the United States SailGP Team in October 2018. Over the course of Season 1, the US team experienced the highs-and-lows of competition, winning a race in front of home fans at New York SailGP, but didn’t find themselves where they wanted to be in the final standings.
For Kirby, Season 2 is all about redemption. He will lead an all-American, eight-man squad that is comprised of the top sailors from across the country and will be reunited with new US manager Kimo Worthington, who he sailed under during the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race.
Growing up in Newport, Rhode Island, Kirby was surrounded by America’s Cup history and he still lives there to this day. Sailing is also in his blood as his father, Jerry, competed in six America’s Cups and three editions of the Volvo Ocean Race. Following Rome’s win in the 34th edition of the competition as part of ORACLE TEAM USA, the pair became the first father-son duo to win the America’s Cup.
Despite his success in sailing, Jerry tried to push Rome toward other sports when he was younger, but undeterred, he always knew he was destined to be a sailor like his father.
Kirby’s career took off when he joined Puma Ocean Racing for the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, finishing third. However, his time with the six-boat fleet propelled him to ORACLE TEAM USA where he was the youngest member of the team that competed in the 34th America’s Cup in 2013. Serving as an off-side trimmer, Kirby helped pull off a stunning comeback by winning eight consecutive races.
He ultimately competed seven years with the team through their defense of the Cup in Bermuda in 2017.
Kirby also aggressively competes in the prestigious Moth class, placing third at the 2018 world championships. He returned to offshore racing in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race onboard Team Brunel, finishing in third.
When he’s not sailing, Kirby is a passionate surfer and ice hockey player, and also enjoys playing golf and snowboarding.