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Brad Fitzgerald

Shore Team Boss

Shore Team Boss Brad Fitzgerald oversees the entire shore team operation and worked closely with Bob Billingham in designing and setting up facilities in Long Beach and Auckland. All Shore Team members report to Fitzgerald. The Shore Team is primarily responsible for the launching and readiness of the boat each day. For this purpose, Fitzgerald works closely with Josh Belsky the boat captain. Each day, upon conclusion of sailing, Belsky and Fitzgerald review the performance of the boat and make a work list for that evening.

When racing is under way, Fitzgerald and his crew will work a long day beginning at 3:00 PM and working throughout the night to have the boat ready to go, or to install the next design team improvement. Fitzgerald will also be there in the mornings to meet with Belsky to make sure the sailing crew understands the work that has been completed and is fully briefed on the details.

 

Fitzgerald is a boat builder by trade and worked on many well-known racing yachts at the Esprit Boat Yard in San Diego. In 1990, Fitzgerald was hired by Paul Cayard to manage the composites department of Italy's Il Moro campaign where he was involved with the construction of five new IACC hulls and oversaw all modifications and repairs.

Leading up to the 1995 Cup, Fitzgerald saw an opportunity to focus specifically on his specialty -- major structural modifications to large carbon fiber pre-preg sailboats. He started Fitzgerald Racing which contracted boat building services to five different America's Cup teams during the '95 Cup, noted Billingham. "This is an incredible validation of Fitzgerald's skill and reputation," he added. "These teams are particularly selective about the people who work on their boats and they trusted Fitzgerald Racing with the most important facet of their campaigns -- the boat's performance."

When Fitz joined AmericaOne, the most impressive of these contracts was the modification of the Japanese Nippon Challenge boat, where the bow and stern sections were cut off and replaced. This was a job considered much more difficult than building an entire new boat (which the rules would not allow).

Fitzgerald's company, Fitzgerald Racing, provides AmericaOne with a workshop facility in San Diego where the one-third scale boats were assembled, rigged and are modified and maintained. Other not-so-well-known aspects of Fitzgerald's responsibilities at AmericaOne are haz-mat management of all boat yard materials and the equipment safety program.

Fitzgerald lives with his wife Patty and his son Kyle, 13, and daughter Carolyn, 11, in San Diego. When not chain-sawing boats, Fitzgerald loves a good day surfing.

e-mail Brad bfitzgerald@americaone.org

 

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