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28 Nov 2013
Cupdate, TJV and the Monsoon Cup—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond
The big news in America's Cup circles is that Iain Murray, the unflappable Regatta Director for the 34th America's Cup, has been named CEO of Team Australia, Bob Oatley's Challenger of Record program for 'AC35'. Murray, a former Olympian, has sailed for the Auld Mug three times (1983, 1987 and 1992), in addition to winning World titles as an 18-foot skiff skipper and also sailing aboard Oatley's 'Wild Oats' maxi yachts. More importantly for Cup and Team Australia fans, Murray earned a strong reputation during AC34 as being absolutely honest, transparent and well-intentioned, even during the darkest days of the last Cup cycle.
According to reports, 'Wild Oats' has won Sydney Hobart line honors six times with Murray aboard, including their record-setting run. 'I have long been an avid supporter and ally of Bob Oatley,' said Murray said. 'When I received the invitation to lead Australia back into the America's Cup for the first time since 2000 on behalf of their Hamilton Island Yacht Club, there was only ever going to be one answer.'
While these are still early days, the Defender also seems pleased with this announcement. 'This is good news for the Australian challenge,' said Russell Coutts, the CEO of Oracle Team USA. 'In hiring Iain Murray, the Oatleys have a man of great ability and character to lead their team. We look forward to working with Iain and the Oatleys in developing the rules and format for the 35th America's Cup.'
Not surprisingly, the Oatleys are also thrilled with their new hire. 'Iain knows what it takes to win an America's Cup, having competed in three Cup's over the years, including Australia's victorious 1983 win,' said Bob Oatley. 'We've had the great pleasure of being able to work closely with him over the last three decades, and have found him to be a consummate professional and also now a dear friend. I have a huge amount of respect for him, and we're overjoyed to be able to officially announce his appointment as leader of our great challenge.'
Get the full story, inside this issue, and stay tuned for more from the 35th America's Cup, as it becomes known.
Also match-racing related, the competition has been intense at the Monsoon Cup, where USVI hotshot Taylor Canfield has been sailing a fast regatta, earning top Qualifier status, despite having to contend with downpours and other meteorological disturbances.
'We're pleased to be the top boat out of Qualifying,' said Canfield. 'And [we're] pleased to get the pick going into the Quarter Finals. But I think anyone that we do pick is going to be a tough match. The guys have been sailing the boat incredibly so far this week and I'm confident that we can pretty much take anyone at this point.' Stay tuned to the website for more news from the Monsoon Cup, as it unfurls.
And in the doublehanded Transat Jacques Vabre race, the two last IMOCA 60s crossed the finishing line in an impressive duel for last and second-to-last place. According to reports, Tanguy de Lamotte and Francois Damien, racing aboard 'Initiatives Coeur', beat Alessandro Di Benedetto and Alberto Monaco, aboard 'Team Plastique', across the finishing line by a mere nine seconds, after several days of tactical hand-to-hand combat.
'It is amazing at just nine seconds,' said Tanguy de Lamotte (FRA) co-skipper of 'Initiatives Coeur'. 'OK it is for last and second last, but we fought all the way. Today we found a fishing net that we managed to avoid and that cost us, but then they could not furl their gennaker away. It was a win-or-lose situation, but I think we both win because it was so close. In the night they were going so fast I did not sleep. It was incredible racing.' Get the full report, inside.
The Extreme 40 fleet will return to Singapore for the opening Act of the 2014 Series in February. - Extreme Sailing Series™ Aberdeen Asset Management
Also inside, get the latest news from the Mini Transat Race, the Extreme Sailing Series and the Clipper Around the World Yacht Race.
And finally, best wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving to you and your family from your friends at Sail-World.
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