Morrelli & Melvin contributed to America's Cup history with Gino Morrelli's participation in the design team for the infamous 1988 America's Cup defense.
Without the time to design a monohull to match the Australians' in a Deed of Gift challenge for the America's Cup, the Americans designed a catamaran. San Diego Yacht Club was defending the America's Cup and it turned to the Sail America Design Team. Gino joined John Marshall, Bruce Nelson, Dave Hubbard, Duncan MacLane, Britton Chance, Jr. and Bernard Nivelt. The team proved how extremes in size and power that could be achieved in catamarans.
In the "Cat" vs. "Dog" series, the cat ran was a run away winner. The Stars and Stripes catamaran reached speeds of 15 knots in the 5-6 knot winds on the racecourse off of Point Loma. The Americans beat the comparatively ponderous New Zealand monohull by two of the widest margins ever recorded--18 minutes, 15 seconds in the first race of the best-of-three series, 21 minutes,10 seconds in the second race.
Stars and Stripes (S1-1988) is the sister ship to the America's Cup winner Stars and Stripes (H3-1988) which was previously owned by sailing legend Dennis Conner and was later sold to Steve Fossett.
When campaigned by Fossett, Stars and Stripes was the fastest inshore and lake sailboat in the United States. It held records for the Chicago - Mackinac Race (18 hours, 50 minutes, 32 seconds), Newport - Ensenada Race (6 hours, 46 minutes, 40 seconds), Swiftsure (14 hours, 35 minutes, 29 seconds).