#12oftheWeek: American Eagle (US-21)

American Eagle (US-21), 1964 America's Cup, William S. "Bill" Cox (helm) and Bill Stetson-- photo by Stephen Lirakis

American Eagle (US-21), 1964 America’s Cup, William S. “Bill” Cox (helm) and Bill Stetson– photo by Stephen Lirakis

AMERICAN EAGLE (US-21) was built by Pierre S. Dupont III’s Aurora Syndicate for the 1964 America’s Cup. With her innovative keel, mast and William S. “Bill” Cox on the helm, American Eagle boasted a 20-1 record versus Columbia (US-16), Nefertiti (US-19), Easterner (US-18) and Constellation (US-20) in the June-July Defender Trials. Ultimately, US-21 was edged out by US-20 in the selection series that featured a 42-tack duel on the last windward leg of the second race.

In a New York Times article published on August 24, 1964, US-21’s  relief helmsman and spokesman, Bill Stetson was quoted: “The harder it blows, the happier we’ll be.”

Ted Turner, 1977

Ted Turner, 1977

Then would-be American media mogul, Robert E. “Ted” Turner, III— aka “The Mouth from the South” owned American Eagle (US-21) from 1968-1973.  He sailed her with an IOR rating in the world’s most challenging races, winning the Southern Ocean Racing Circuit, the Annapolis-Newport Race, the Sydney Hobart Race and the Fastnet Race. In recent years, Ted Turner has continued to race US-21 in numerous Newport 12mR regattas and attended the 2019 12mR World Championship.

Alexander Valcic, 2020

Meet American Eagle’s new owner (2020) Alexander Valcic: Born on the island nation of Croatia in the Adriatic Sea, Alex started sailing as a teenager and tells us that he learned to swim before he could walk! He considers his ownership of American Eagle (US-21) as both a privilege and a responsibility.

“I think of myself as a steward with a mandate to take good care of American Eagle and to keep her sailing for future generations. I am happy to make US-21 available to the public with 12 Meter Yacht Charters, so that people can experience the excitement of 12 metre racing and I hope also to provide sailing access to underserved youth.” — Alexander Valcic

American Eagle (US-21) @ International Twelve Metre Association database

American Eagle (US-21) @ 12 Metre Yacht Club Registry page