Sutphen(1920 - )
Jack Sutphen began his America's Cup career in 1958
as a sailmaker with Ratsey & Lapthorn on City
Island, NY. He was with the Weatherly campaign that
year. In 1974, Sutphen was with the Courageous Campaign
as was Dennis Conner. Sutphen had made a name for
himself racing against East Coast legends Cornelius
Shields and Arthur Knapp out of Larchmont Y.C. When
Conner brought together his own Freedom Syndicate
for the 1980 Cup, he needed someone to skipper his
trial horse in a two year campaign and felt Sutphen
had great credentials.
Thus began a pattern of many successive campaigns
including the great Freedom triumph of 1980, the U.S.
defeat in 1983, and the monumental comeback in 1986-87
in Australia. It was out of Hawaii and Fremantle that
year that Sutphen sailed daily with the backup crew
on the trial horse to Stars & Stripes as Conner
worked toward regaining the Cup. Sutphen's crew was
labeled "The Mushrooms," because it was
kept in the dark and could be pulled out and "canned"
at any moment. "There was a great spirit on that
boat," Sutphen recalled. "I think we made
Dennis and Stars & Stripes better." This
support continued through several subsequent campaigns.
He has been with nine America's Cup campaigns from
1958 through 2000, seven with Team Dennis Conner.