sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : America's Cup: An update from the Big Fella
America's Cup: An update from the Big Fella

'Iain Murray goes walkabout at the AC World Series - Plymouth 2011, with Prince Michael of Kent'    Gilles Martin-Raget: AmericasCup©    Click Here to view large photo

Getting out of bed at 6.00am to talk on the phone to a bunch of fully wired sailing journalists spread across three continents, probably isn’t the ideal start to a day.

So it was no surprise that 'Big Fella', as Iain Murray is known in his native Australia, was talking in short sentences. The words seemed to rumble out.

Murray was back in Sydney, having taken a break from his role as Regatta Director for the 34th America’s Cup and World Series to compete in the Star class at the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, in Perth, do another Rolex Sydney Hobart, and take in a few other regattas besides. That's called taking a break.

Star fleet at the 2011 ISAF Worlds, Perth -  Richard Langdon -Perth 2011  
In the first two weeks of December, the Perth regatta pulled the attention of the sailing world, as both the main 2012 Olympic Qualifier, and also for the enormous effort put in by the Western Australians to organise the jewel in the ISAF crown.

They took a leaf from the America’s Cup book to take sailing to the people, both ashore and on public television, and live streaming and replay video on the interweb.

Fremantle has a reputation as one of the dream venues for sailing, but assumed more nightmarish qualities when Murray was defending the America’s Cup in 1987 as helmsman aboard Kookaburra III. Then the home team was vanquished by the unstoppable Dennis Conner and his Stars and Stripes crew.

Almost 25 years on, the vivid memories of Freo are still fresh in the public mind – the big breezes, hefty seas, pounding boats became etched in the fans’ imaginations, as the crews wrestled with the elements as much as their competition. Ashore it was just as lively, too.

The ISAF World Sailing Championship organisers were keen to re-create the magic that was Freo. So how did Iain Murray, the competitor, rate the experience?

Wild Oats XI punches her way to Hobart - Rolex Sydney Hobart 2011 -  © Rolex-Daniel Forster  
'When the breeze comes in and the sun comes out in Perth it is a great venue - one of the great venues of the world.

'There were some good things in Perth such as the 49ers finishing amongst the bathers. The Medal Race was in the right topography when they had the wind coming in from the south west. But it was not so good when it was from the SE.

'We were there in the Star class, on courses that were halfway to the America’s Cup courses - and were out on the water for six or seven hours for just two races. None of that had a good feel about it to me.

'They got Channel 10 in Australia to broadcast it live, which was good, the unfortunate thing was that the ratings were not great.

'The key to any sailing event is to get it onto television live. Getting it on live around the world is the difficult thing. In San Diego we had the ACWS going to 17 different countries, being shown live on free to air TV.

'Our live TV in San Diego was double what it was in Plymouth in terms of ratings and number of stations carrying the regatta. So there has been progression and my understanding is that we will have more coverage in Naples.

Murray says that the America’s Cup World Series would have loved to have gone back to the venue of the 1987 Defence. However the dollars just weren’t there after the ISAF Worlds had exhausted available funding.

Event Fees no longer the key issue
Event fees are a controversial part of the America’s Cup World Series. The first three events in 2011 are said to have been done on sweetheart deals, but with the Series now established, Iain Murray, in his recently expanded Regatta Director’s role stridently defends the fees being sought, their value for money and affordability.

'Venues are prepared to pay to cover the costs of the event', he says, 'and we are going to places that will pay .

'Money for Event Fees doesn’t seem to be the ultimate problem. But if we don’t get an Event Fee at the level we need, then we won’t be going.

'Very simply, we are only talking to people who know up front, what it costs.'

Team numbers and TV coverage will be up on 2011 levels for the AC45 World Series -  Sander van der Borch_- Artemis Racing ©   Click Here to view large photo
Although Murray has some strong opinions on what he calls 'Bengate', with the review process currently underway he prefers that his views stay in school for the time being. Except to say that he believes the positioning of the media boat was 'poor control' and that the sport needs colour. 'We miss the Dennis Conner’s and Tom Blackaller’s jibing with each other,' he said.

European downturn
That point moved to one side, the conversation moved onto the situation in Europe with the withdrawal of the Audi sponsorship from the MedCup, and the implications of that move for the America’s Cup World Series which has four events in Italy in the next two years. Plus there is the issue of the ability of teams to attract sponsorship, in a bear market, to fund their programs.

Murray’s views won’t go down too well in Europe and in professional sailing circles. 'The problem with MedCup and the reason Audi has withdrawn is that they created something that wasn’t sustainable for the owners, who in turn pulled back to the point that there were only going to be four boats. That doesn’t work for anyone.

'The MedCup circuit became too expensive. You needed a new boat every year. You had to have the most professional crew you could, and it was trying to run on three million Euros of Audi money every year – which just isn’t viable.

'It didn’t work for the sponsors obviously, and it didn’t make all the ends meet. So it’s no more.

'That is unfortunate, because the TP52’s are great boats.

'But when times get tough, the owners start watching where the money is going, and it’s a big ticket at the end of the week.

Region of Murcia Trophy final day - Audi MedCup Circuit 2011 -  http://www.ingridabery.com!©_Ingrid_Abery  
'If you look at what an AC45 costs to run compared to a TP52, there is a big difference. Part of that is the amount professional crews are being paid. In the 45’s there are a lot of young guys who aren’t getting paid that much compared to what some are demanding on the MedCup circuit', he notes.

Having gone through its first year of start up, will the ACWS ever become viable and expand into a sporting property like some others in sailing, but more common in mainstream sports with the major sporting leagues and teams?

Murray believes the ACWS is starting to hit its numbers and is making inroads. Maybe that is at the expense of other sailing events initially, but more so in the longer term where it is offering a new television sport.

'We are getting interest from a lot of parties, including sponsors and supporters, who see the ACWS as being more sustainable and viable. They are looking at the quality of our TV and the distribution, and they like that picture.

World Series expanding
'We are progressing. I am confident that in Naples that we will have 11 boats on the starting line – which is all we can muster - and by mid-year it will be 14 boats.

'In Naples we will have nine teams, and there will be two teams with two boats each in Naples ( Oracle Racing and Luna Rossa). Our big problem is that we are committed to building boats 15 and 16, but we can’t get boat 15 to Naples in time, because of the other things we are doing like the wing extensions and a couple of other bits which are being done by a team of eight working flat out in Auckland. They just can’t get it all done', he adds.

America’s Cup event organisers have often been criticised for not following the model adopted by Volvo Ocean Race, of trying to give a stopover to each entered team. That way each team would have at least one 'home game' in the World Series. So far only the America’s Cup defenders have had a home game, and that was not in their home town.

Murray takes the point, but the equation for ACWS is still driven by the dollar rather than sentiment.

'We would like to work with the teams and support the venues of the teams, if we can. But there is a key requirement; we need the money to go there. Ideally you’d like to support the teams in their own country, but of course it has to have the facilities, and maybe the magical Fremantle touch of guaranteed wind – which is important too.

Pier 27-29 from Embarcadero, San Francisco -  Americas Cup Media   Click Here to view large photo

Focus on San Francisco
A recent re-organisation of America’s Cup Regatta Management’s functions, and the America’s Cup Event Authority, has seen ACRM, headed by Murray take an expanded role.

'We have taken over the AC World Series logistically,' he explains.'With Club 45, we’ll manage the logistics side, and the Event Authority will use that facility for their guest program.

'We’ve taken over the superyacht program – not that it is relevant to the AC45’s - and will look at what really needs to happen and co-ordinate that.

'Probably the biggest task is sorting out what needs to happen with San Francisco and the build out. With environmental building permits there is a substantial amount of work that has to happen like the upgrade of the piers, construction of the new terminal, the responsibility for that is now with us.

Oracle Racing - AC45’s San Francisco -  Guilain Grenier-Oracle Racing©   Click Here to view large photo
'We have a big team working in San Francisco. But it is going to need a lot more of my time there, but it is relevant to my experience in marine development,' he notes.

The teams seem to better pleased with the changes in the organisation made to the responsibilities of ACEA and ACRM, and the attendant tune up of functionality.

'ACEA’s mission has been narrowed to commercial matters', Murray explains. 'It is still their responsibility to raise the funds, and deal with the venues and the like. That all goes back to the underlying premises of the Protocol, signed between Mascalzone Latino and Golden Gate YC in the first instance.'

The next three months will see the nine teams split before re-assembling in Naples in early April.

'Oracle Racing’s boats have gone to San Francisco, Emirates Team NZ’s have gone back to NZ, where they will train with Luna Rossa.

'All the other equipment has gone to Valencia. Artemis now have two boats and will be sailing those.

'We had been in two minds as to where to take the ship, but in the end it was Valencia because most of the teams were already there, and it’s a great facility.'

Another Competitors Forum is scheduled to be held in Auckland at the end of January, and practice racing between the Italian and New Zealand teams will take place in Auckland in February and March.

Auckland will be the venue for the next Competitors Forum at the end of January -  Luna Rossa Challenge 2013   Click Here to view large photo


by Richard Gladwell

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=93071

10:57 AM Fri 20 Jan 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2013 America's Cup

Related News Stories:

25 Oct 2012  America's Cup: Oracle Team USA - capsize and recovery - Video
25 Oct 2012  Gladwell's Line: Italian Big Cat spots the Kiwi Cream
24 Oct 2012  America's Cup: Rod Davis reflects on the Oracle nosedive
22 Oct 2012  America's Cup: Murray Jones interviewed on Oracle Team USA capsize
18 Oct 2012  America's Cup: Oracle Team USA damage revealed - images
18 Oct 2012  America's Cup: Images of Oracle's AC72 being hauled from the water
18 Oct 2012  America's Cup: Oracle Team USA returns home - latest images
17 Oct 2012  America's Cup: Oracle Team USA capsizes AC72 in San Francisco - Latest
17 Oct 2012  America's Cup: Meanwhile aboard Emirates Team NZ - Images and Video
17 Oct 2012  America's Cup: Oracle Team USA images after the capsize
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

Volvo Ocean Race - Day 12 for Team Alvimedica by Amory Ross, Team Alvimedica
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 12 onboard Team Alvimedica. There is no question as to the origins of the phrase 'down in the doldrums;' the monotony of these days is painfully apparent. It’s a pattern too familiar: a night of variable conditions—torrential rain and 20 knots of wind one minute, no wind and starry skies the next. Feast or famine. ... [more]  

The forecast for day six at the La Torche PWA Grand Slam offered a slight possibility of producing some racing, but unfortunately the wind never really materialised meaning the sailors spent another day on hold. Throughout the day there were gusts of up to 10 knots, but the wind failed to improve beyond that. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 12 onboard Team SCA. This morning the boat was so quiet you could hear a pin drop, shortly after sun up we were hooning along in 20kts in a torrential downpour, by late afternoon we were sailing backwards, and who knows what tonight will bring. ... [more]  

The push and shove of 12 knots of Atlantic breeze – things are looking up in the Volvo Ocean Race. On board Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, things are looking up. First in the fleet, and out of the Doldrums, they’re heading fast towards the Equator, trade winds blowing gusts of encouragement around their ears. ... [more]  

With only nine days remaining until the close of entries, one of the smallest, most audacious and memorable yachts in the history of the CYCA’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, appropriately became the 100th entry. A mere 10.5 metres, James Cameron’s Hick 35, Luna Sea, will again do duty as one of the pintsized yachts in fleet for the 70th edition of the 628 nautical mile race. ... [more]  

Today was the last day of competition at the Student Yachting World Cup. Even though England’s victory was already for sure, the top-5-ranking could change a lot with two more races: Italy was second with 46 pts, Ireland third with 47 pts, Norway fourth (52 pts) and Switzerland fifth (58.2 pts)… the USA followed with 59 pts! ... [more]  

A varied and international fleet ranging from 40 to 100ft (12.19 to 30.48m) will set off for Grenada on Saturday 29th November from Lanzarote, the most eastern in the Canary Islands chain, in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Transatlantic Race. ... [more]  

The United States will be the second most heavily represented nation at the Star Sailors League Finals when they take place at Nassau in the Bahamas between December 1st and 7th. Reflecting the consistency, quality and number of sailors involved in the Star class, the United States has the largest representation in the Star Sailors League with 294 skippers and 376 crew. ... [more]  

AIRBUS and Oracle Team USA have forged a technology partnership. As Official Innovation Partner of Oracle Team USA for the 35th America’s Cup, AIRBUS will share the know-how of its engineers and experts in fields such as aerodynamics, instrumentation and simulation, composites, structures, hydraulics and data analysis to work with the Oracle Team USA design team. ... [more]  

Thursday has proved another dramatic day in the story of the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race. While yesterday (Wednesday) was a day of seamanship and survival as yachts battled storm force winds, it was also a day of arrivals as the same winds pushed competitors to the finish. ... [more]  

The Royal Malta Yacht Club has been a hive of activity both day and night, welcoming back yachts taking part in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. By Midday on Day Six 34 yachts have finished the race and 25 yachts have retired. Each and every sailor that has taken part, including those that are still out there, has a story to tell for years to come. ... [more]  

Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar made a near perfect start to in the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda yesterday. The British skipper who stands top of the the Alpari World Match Racing Tour and is second in the ISAF rankings, goes into today's remaining round robin flights leading group 1. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Onboard Team Brunel. 'At this rate, it will take a century before we get to Cape Town,' sighs Jens Dolmer, standing on the bow. He is trying in vain to push the flapping foresail outwards. There is hardly a breath of wind. In the distance, the sun is sinking into the ocean. ... [more]  

Over 100 riders from more than 20 different countries have already registered and over the two weeks will compete against each other in the pro, amateur, master, grand master, youth and women's fleets for the honor of becoming the Aloha Classic Champions. ... [more]  

After probably the toughest 24 hours in the 46 year history of the race, Lee Satariano's Maltese J/122, Artie finished the Rolex Middle Sea Race on Thursday 23 October 2014 at 00h 45m 5s in an elapsed time of 4Days 13hours 35mins and 05secs. ... [more]  

As of the 2140UTC report on Day 10 of the first Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, the placings on the water on the water had not changed during the day, but the distances between the boats had reduced. The two easternmost boats, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing continued to lead but is only 4nm ahead of Team Brunel with about 600nm to sail to the turning mark of Fernando de Noronha 220nm off the coast of Brazil. ... [more]  

Despite the best efforts of Tropical Storm Fay and then Hurricane Gonzalo, the Argo Group Gold Cup, the sixth stage of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, set sail on Bermuda’s Hamilton Harbour today, albeit postponed by 24 hours. ... [more]  

Today, Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) took to the water for the first time from their temporary base in Southampton, sailing their foiling AC45. The boat originally raced under BAR colours during the America’s Cup World Series in 2012-13, and has subsequently been modified to fly on hydrofoils. ... [more]  

The calm weather returned on day five of the La Torche PWA Grand Slam as the wave sailors recovered from yesterday’s punishing, but brilliant, conditions. After a chilly start, with the thermometer reading just five degrees celsius, the temperature soon rose with the appearance of the sun, making for another stunning autumn day. ... [more]  

Day five of the Rolex Middle Sea Race has proved a day of reckoning for the competing fleet. The forecast strong northwesterly wind has arrived and consistently blown over 25 knots with gusts exceeding 40 knots. The effect has been to catapult the previously slow moving yachts towards the finish line in Malta. ... [more]  

A day and a night of uncertainty - later, the Doldrums will come to an end for the Volvo Ocean Race teams. By tomorrow morning, the fleet should be sailing safely in the southeasterly trade winds. So – who won this equatorial lottery? What was the best place to cross this convergence zone, where two hemispheres and two weather systems collide? ... [more]  

Known for erratic light airs alternating with sudden gusts that can last a minute or an hour from the giant unstable vertical clouds, the Doldrums (aka more officially the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone) are the unavoidable low-point of leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race for the determined men on Dongfeng. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. Onboard Team Alvimedica. The synopsis is pretty straightforward: we are stuck in the Doldrums. Stuck, and stuck real good. All things considered, yesterday was actually pretty decent. We had a quick morning rainsquall that was able to power us south through the first line of ITCZ clouds already towering above our heads by 10AM. ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race - Artie gunning for glory by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Lee Satariano's Maltese J/122, Artie has emerged as the hot favourite to become the overall winner of the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race. However, at 16:00 CET, Artie was still 80 miles from the finish and the Mistral storm is still raging. In addition, there are several yachts behind Artie that could still claim the overall prize. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Onboard Team SCA. Today I would like to share another perspective with you. Given the kind messages from Team SCA followers that we have been receiving onboard (thank you!), it would seem daily reports from our onboard reporter Miss Halloran and our onshore media crew have been doing a wonderful job of sharing our journey thus far. ... [more]  

The 17th edition of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship took place from 15-18 October in San Francisco, USA. Hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, the 2014 Rolex Farr 40 Worlds welcomed 19 international entrants - comprising teams from Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Turkey and the United States. ... [more]  

After two days of intense racing at the 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater, both fleets have completed a full schedule of six light-wind races, and they’ve earned their lay day! Very light and shifty winds were forecast for the day, and it was a nice surprise to see a seven knot side-off breeze fill in early from the North. ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race - Big breeze and lumpy seas by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
There are 92 yachts still racing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. The expected frontal system arrived around Midnight last night at the northwest corner of the course. Reports of storm force winds and big seas have been received by the Race Committee and 25 yachts had officially retired from the race by 15:00 CET on Wednesday 22 October. ... [more]  

Justin 'Judd' Goldman was 17 years old when he suffered a disabling bone disease. After realizing that there were few sports that he could participate in he discovered sailing. Over the next 58 years he competed successfully in many races throughout the world. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 10 plus Videos *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.nz/com
Several of the On Board Reporters aboard, provide their unique views of Leg 1, Day 10 of the Volvo Ocean Race - in text, images and video: You know when you try to stick two positive magnets together and regardless as to how close you get them they never touch? Well, the ITCZ is a bit like that. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 1 turns inside out in Doldums *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
As reported earlier Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race would seem to have gone from being a tightly fought contest to being a procession to Cape Town. Even though only 40% of the course has been sailed, the distance between the boats are significant (other than the two lead boats) and look set to increase. ... [more]  

Student Yachting World Cup - After those days of sun and light air, the weather was upside-down with a cloudy sky threatening us of heavy shower at any time and a strong wind fluctuating from 15 knots to 25 knots! Two windward-leeward races took place today as the wind became far too heavy in the early afternoon. The 13th race began this morning: a second start occurred under black flag. ... [more]  

2014 Argo Group Gold Cup - Over the last few days there have been frantic phone calls between travel agents from competitors at the Argo Group Gold Cup, the sixth stage and the oldest event on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Over Friday night and into Saturday the Category Three Hurricane Gonzalo passed directly over Bermuda pummelling it with 100+ knot winds. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Big gains for two boats in Doldrums *Feature
Argo Group Gold Cup - Qualifying Groups set
Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup - Kids breeze past Hurricane Gonzalo
DSS to revolutionise IMOCA 60s, both new and old
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami: Groupe Beneteau sponsors US Sailing Team
Volvo Ocean Race - The bright side of the Doldrums
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Vestas Wind contemplates the tropics + Video
Volvo Ocean Race - Dull day, crazy night for Dongfeng Race Team
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA ready for equator crossing
Volvo Ocean Race - Tough challenge for Brunel's Pablo Arrarte Elorza
RS:X Youth Worlds - Hard work on day 1 + Video
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - NoR released, entries open for 2015
Rolex Middle Sea Race - A turning point for the fleet
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Leg one – Doldrums for dummies
Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 9 plus Videos *Feature
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Fight to the finish
Student Yachting World Cup - Fourth race day + Video
New improved swell forecasting and more locations from PredictWind
Volvo Ocean Race: Day 9 final report - Lead continually changing
Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup - An opportunity for growth
Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet charges the door of the Doldrums Casino *Feature   
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Light winds on day 3   
Volvo Ocean Race: Navigators throw away the routing textbook   
Volvo Ocean Race - The Doldrums, a navigational nightmare + Video   
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Maltese yachts top the leader board   
Star Sailors League Finals - Torben Grael and Jorge Zarif join fleet   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica heads for the Doldrums   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA, a crew on a mission   
Thailand bids for 2016 IODA ‘Optimist’ World Championships   
Farr 40 Worlds: Prizegiving images from the Final day in San Francisco   
Bill Green - builder and sailor passes on   
ISAF World Sailing Rankings – 20 October 2014   
Farr 40 Worlds: Images from the Final day in San Francisco *Feature   
Farr 40 Worlds: Images from Day 2 in San Francisco *Feature   
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - A hard day's night   
34th Student Yachting World Cup 2014 - Second race day   
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng loses lead, anyone's race ahead of Doldrums *Feature   
Flying Dreams 'An Ocean Story': The Movie   
New super maxis gear up for Rolex Sydney Hobart   
Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 8 plus Videos *Feature   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL VIR US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT