Rome Kirby may be among the youngest members of ORACLE TEAM USA but don’t let that fool you.
He grew up in a competitive family. His father, Jerry Kirby, is a veteran of six America’s Cup campaigns. Rome himself began winning Opti regattas at age 10, and continued into the 420 class at age 14.
With coaching from two-time Olympian Kevin Burnham, Kirby excelled in virtually all classes of boats that were available to him during his junior sailing years.
“I was about 10 when I won my first Opti regatta – I guess when you excel in something, you end up enjoying it a bit more.”
In July 2012, Kirby completed the around the world Volvo Ocean Race onboard with the PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG crew. He sailed more than 39,000 nautical miles, hitting 10 ports as they circumnavigated the globe. He was the youngest sailor in the fleet.
“I think the Volvo changed me in a big way – apart from aging me about 10 years. Just about people and personalities and going with the flow. Everyone’s got their quirks.”
As a grinder onboard ORACLE TEAM USA, Kirby knows what he’s looking for when it comes to joining a strong syndicate.
“You look for a team that can communicate, has the intensity and the drive, but is also pretty calm and cool under pressure.”
Should Kirby have any free time when not training for the America’s Cup Finals in September, you can find him kite surfing or in his Moth sailboat around San Francisco Bay.
- 3rd place: 2011- 2012 Volvo Ocean Race – PUMA Ocean Racing