VICTOR DIAZ DE LEON
Regarded as one of the finest professional sailors of his generation, Victor Diaz de Leon has been chosen by Captain Cayard and will represent a decisive asset for SSL Team USA, by bringing all of his experience on big boats with many crews onboard. Growing up in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela, he started sailing at a young age on his father’s racer cruiser. At the age of seven, his father got him an Optimist and he quickly devoted all of his time and energy into the sport. After high school, Diaz de Leon moved to America, precisely at St. Mary’s College of Maryland where he was a member of the school’s sailing team. He is also a Moth expert, having finished twice in the top-10 in the World Championships.
WILLEM VAN WAAY
Willem Van Waay proved his wide array of skill sets again in 2019 with a win at the J/24 World Championship in Miami outlasting a fleet of 79 to claim the first-place prize by 16 points through 10 races. Van Waay has been a World Champion before, both on Farr 40 and Melges 32, but the achievement he is most proud of is winning the 2018 J70 Worlds in Porto Cervo with 169 teams racing. His career dates back when he first moved to San Diego with his family. His father was a Navy Seal who also joined the competitive world of racing. As an adult, Van Waay was introduced to Coronado legend and Olympic gold medalist Robbie Haines since then he has raced all around the world wearing different hats.
Star World Champion in 1999 with Tom Olsen, Eric Doyle has been successful in different classes, but the one true love is the Star, where he often finds himself competing directly against Team USA Captain Paul Cayard. Eric was raised in Pass Christian along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where he learned at a young age that he was hooked on sailing. Vince Brun found him after college, and he began his career at North Sails in 1992. Shortly after that he was hired by Dennis Conner to sail with Stars & Stripes America’s Cup campaign in 2000. Continuing on, he raced with BMW Oracle for the 2003 and 2007 America’s Cup campaigns. Eric’s passion is with smaller keel boats, other than the Star, like the Etchells, Melges 24, and J/70. But he doesn’t shy away from the big boats, winning the Maxi World Championship in 2004. Eric is currently based in San Diego.