America's Cup - Big Fella Part III & more

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 09 May 2014


America's Cup - Big Fella Part III & more

34th America's Cup  © ACEA
Sail-World's America's Cup Editor, Richard Gladwell, talks with Team Australia CEO and America's Cup Challenger of Record negotiator, Iain Murray, (Big Fella) in this third part of a three part series, updating on the state of the 35th America's Cup, as seen through his eyes.

As one of the key negotiators of the Protocol, Murray says that the public release of the Protocol is very close. 'Why the process is so protracted is that we are so much wiser than last time – when there was so much left open to be decided by later voting. But this time we know the racing rules. We have a very polished up boat rule. We understand the boats are going to foil. We understand the safety. We understand the television systems, the arbitration systems and have experience with all of that from last time.'

Iain Murray  © Richard Gladwell
'There has been a large concentration of how this event can be commercialised going forward'.

It will be up to the new Events Authority to decide how many viable teams have entered and how that relates into an America's Cup World Series competition before the EA starts having discussions with possible ACWS venues, which will be quickly confirmed.

'Getting the expectations aligned is not easily. I have been on both sides and can see it both ways. There is nothing easy about it to be honest,' says Murray briefly slipping on his old hat of Regatta Director for the last edition of the America's Cup World Series, and America's Cup itself.

Tense debate on Challenger selection Series

One area that Murray is reluctant to discuss publicly is how the Challenger Selection Series will run, despite public comment being made from the Defender side.

'The Americas Cup World Series (sailed in AC45's) will have the ability to be split into multiple venues same as last time', he says.

The Challenger Selection Series itself, or Louis Vuitton Cup, is traditionally sailed in its entirety at the venue for the America's Cup.

Comment from the Defender has been that maybe only the final four challenger teams may be able to sail in the CSS. The report have caused alarm and consternation amongst the potential challenger groups as having won though the early qualifiers the top teams would have to pack up and move to the Match venue. The Defender, on the other hand, with their ability to sail two AC62's could be at the one venue for the duration. There are a number of other permutations which all work the Defender's way.

Event organisation gets rewired

As Challenger of Record, Hamilton Island Yacht Club has no involvement in the organisation of the America's Cup World Series – that will all be done by the new America's Cup Events Authority, which will handle event and race management.

America's Cup World Series Naples 2013  ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget ©

Murray says the race management will be even more independent that last time, with the costs being shared between the teams, and not just the Defender. His comment negates the cynical line that in the last Cup, ultimately the race officials were all paid by the Defender, and were, therefore, ultimately beholden to them.

A fresh start with Team Australia

Turning to matters closer to home and equally pressing, Murray has a big task ahead with Team Australia.

'We are just starting. This has been a huge job for us and the Oatley family.

'To just dive headlong into the politics of this event and the America's Cup it is never easy. There are some very strong willed characters involved, and it has taken a long time to work through'.

Team Australia has already announced 2012 Olympic Gold medallist Matt Belcher as its skipper, and a sailing team has been formed. Many of those in the team will be combining Olympic and America's Cup programs. Part of that has involved sailing against Oracle Team USA in the AC45's on Sydney Harbour. That exchange continues next week.

Mat Belcher onboard Team Australia  © Victor Kovalenko

'Luckily the 'Aussie Oracles' seem to have camped down here and are quite happy to sail with us. So we have to make the most of that opportunity - it's a great opportunity for us'.

'Those guys are all good mates, because they were all in the Olympic team together. So we have to make the most of that opportunity while we can. Sailing one design AC45's is a good way for us to step up'.

He expects Team Australia to build to a 50-60 strong group. That is well shy of the 120 listed for Emirates Team New Zealand in the 34th America's Cup and the 220 (including builders) for Oracle Team USA.

'We obviously have to build the boats here, in Australia, but we have a very good composites industry, and there's a lot of skills and facilities here.

Strong base in Australian Sailing Team

Had the 35th America's Cup been sailed on a State of Origin basis, with a 100% home-grown nationality rule, Team Australia would be in a very strong position indeed with the top designers, sailors and managers in the Americas' Cup business.

The task for Iain Murray is to build a team grafted from the Australian Sailing Team, which is a top performer at Olympic level. The Oatley's and Hamilton Island Yacht Club have always been strong backers of the Australian Sailing Team, so the relationship is an easy one.

'I think we can do a good job', says Murray. 'We have to build our team from scratch. We have hired some good people. But we need to bring some experience into the team.

The full Part III interview is below.

To read Part 1 of this three part series click here and Part 2 click here

Shifting gears completely ... Saturday's Beneteau Cup Pittwater 2014 is set to offer owners double the competition and double the fun for the first time in the event's 14-year history.

As well as vying for Beneteau glory within the select class, crews will contest race two of the regular Lion Island Series run by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club at Newport, on Saturday May 10, 2014.

I'm Alive - 2013 Beneteau Cup  John Curnow ©

A handful of those entered in the Beneteau Cup have elected to tackle the spinnaker option and compete against the bulk of the RPAYC fleet in divisions one to three. The rest will transform division four from a small non-spinnaker fleet into a mass Beneteau flotilla.

Given the Cup is for some Beneteau owners one of only two times a year they race - the other being the Beneteau Cup Sydney Harbour - forecast light N-NW winds at 10 knots is good news for owners who'd rather keep the champagne flowing and stress levels corked.

2014 Airlie Beach Race Week - There is going to be Cookson conflict on the IRC race course in the Vision Surveys Airlie Beach Race Week, being held from eighth to 15th August 2014.

The battle lines are already being drawn as the two Sydney-based Cookson 50s, Colin Woods's Pretty Fly III and Darryl Hodgkinson's Victoire, prepare to take each other on, boat against boat in regatta racing.

After Airlie Beach there is Audi Hamilton Island Race Week and SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week. NOW would be a good time tor register.

News from the first Eurosaf event of the season – Garda Vela Trentino and the Finn Europeans, where Britain's Giles Scott is absolutely dominating.

Read all about it!!

Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team

America's Cup: Iain Murray on the Trials, the Team, and the Protocol
Richard Gladwell/,
Sail-World's America's Cup Editor, Richard Gladwell, talks with Team Australia CEO and America's Cup Challenger of Record negotiator, Iain Murray, in this third part of a three part series. In Part 3 we look at Murray's thoughts on the task ahead of Team Australia, selection trials, how the Cup organization will be set up, and when the Protocol will be announced.... [more]
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Hugo Boss mast broken during delivery to New York
Alex Thomson Racing,
The Hugo Boss shore team were contacted by the boat early this morning and were informed that the mast is broken above the top spreader. We are relieved to announce that the four crew members on-board are safe and we have notified their families and our sponsors.... [more]
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Finn European Championship - Giles Scott unstoppable in La Rochelle
Robert Deaves,
On day four of the Finn European Championship, Giles Scott (GBR) again produced a superlative performance in La Rochelle, with two more race wins giving him a 36 point lead with just three races to sail. Though Ed Wright (GBR) won the opening race, he has dropped back to fourth overall.... [more]
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Western Australian Yachting Awards - Meet the champions
Jenny Honeybun,
Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club Commodore Richard Timms and Yachting WA President Denys Pearce welcomed His Excellency Malcolm McCusker AC CVO QC, Governor of Western Australia and Patron of Yachting WA accompanied by Mrs Tonya McCusker to the 2014 Meet The Champions – the annual Yachting WA Awards event held at Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club.... [more]
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2015 ISAF Team Racing World Championship to take place in Rutland
The venue for the 2015 ISAF Team Racing World Championship has now been revealed to be Rutland, Great Britain. Located in central England near Leicester and Peterborough, the 2015 ISAF Team Racing Worlds will be held at Rutland Sailing Club on Rutland Water, a large inland stretch of water.... [more]
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Thrills on the Weta at the Peter Loft Marathon
Peter DuRoss,
Three Wetas took part in the Peter Loft Marathon race on Sunday from Bayview in Pittwater, around Lion Island and back. With over 25 plus kilometres of course in front of us we set up in upper cloud streaked blue skies, with westerly winds ranging from zero to gusting up to 20 knots. And with predictions of 30 knots plus it was not for the faint hearted, hence only 3 daredevil Weta's showed up... [more]
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Garda Vela Trentino - First leg Eurosaf Champion Sailing Cup - Day 1
Elena Giolai,
Garda Vela Trentino 2014 - The South wind was most consistent in the areas where the 49er and 49er FX were racing in the early stages of the afternoon (maximum 12 – 14knots). In contrast the other classes were experiencing a bit less wind until later in the afternoon when the wind built to a fairly consistent 14 knots.... [more]
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Double the fun for the Beneteau Cup Pittwater 2014
Lisa Ratcliff,
Saturday's Beneteau Cup Pittwater 2014 is set to offer owners double the competition and double the fun for the first time in the event's 14-year history.... [more]
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Bonus Packs from GME in time for Boat Show season
Leading safety and communication manufacturer GME has launched a new Bonus Pack for sale in the lead-up-to Boat Show season. It's certain to attract a lot of attention.... [more]
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Airlie Beach Race Week - Battle lines drawn for Cookson 50 conflict
Tracey Johnstone,
2014 Airlie Beach Race Week - There is going to be Cookson conflict on the IRC race course in the Vision Surveys Airlie Beach Race Week, being held from eighth to 15th August 2014.... [more]
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UK Sails Titanium - 'little black number'
Guy Nowell,
Say hello to UK's TITANIUM, a sail construction process that makes strong, light, hard-wearing sails that hold their shape through a wide range of wind strengths. This combination has long been every sailmaker's Holy Grail, and here is a winning construction that is already proving itself out on the racetrack.... [more]
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Finn European Championship - Brits on top in La Rochelle + Video
Robert Deaves,
At the Finn European Championships, Giles Scott (GBR) has claimed two more race wins in La Rochelle, extending his lead to 18 points, and allowing him to discard a second place from the first race of the day to leave him with four race wins out of five sailed.... [more]
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Sail for Gold Regatta - ‘Early entry fee' extended
Matt Carter,
Sailors interested in taking part in the 2014 Sail for Gold Regatta now have up until Sunday 11 May to enjoy the discounted entry period. The event is due to be held at the world class Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in just under four weeks' time.... [more]
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World Match Racing Tour - Longest competing skipper ready for battle
Alpari World Match Racing Tour,
The Alpari World Match Racing Tour gets underway in just under a month and all eyes are on the eight Tour Card skippers for the 2014 season as they prepare to meet at the first event in Germany on 5 June. One of the Tour's longest competing skippers is French match racer Mathieu Richard who returns to the Tour this year with a new sponsor and a very clear mission - to win the World Championship.... [more]
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Southern Spars announces new management team for Rig Pro International
Josh Impey,
Southern Spars is pleased to announce the new Rig Pro International management team, led by Des Davis and supported by Gavin McPherson. Both Davis and McPherson are extremely passionate sailors and have a wealth of experience in the yachting industry that will see them take Rig Pro from strength to strength... [more]
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Riorden takes out 4th Eastern States Impulse Championship at Ballina
Publicity Officer Queensland Impulse Assosciation,
The fourth Eastern States Impulse Championship was conducted at the Richmond River Sailing and Rowing Club, Ballina, on the Anzac Day long weekend. The event was sponsored by Doyle Sails Brisbane, and attracted a highly competitive fleet of 24 Impulse's from Queensland and New South Wales.... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Race 11 wraps up
Clipper Ventures,
In the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, all teams have finished race 11, the PSP Logistics Panama 100 Cup, and the fleet is now motor sailing towards Panama ahead of its transit of the canal in its Centenary year.... [more]
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Paddle boat to be removed before end of May
Roads and Maritime Services,
Roads and Maritime Services will today send a notice to the owner of the old paddle boat which sank in the Murray River requiring its removal before 31 May. Acting Director Maritime Michael Wright said once a detailed salvage plan was lodged and approved, work to remove the old timber vessel from where it sank at its mooring just above Mildura Weir could start.... [more]
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America's Cup wins Sports Emmy Award for its Mobile App
America's Cup,
America's Cup wins Sports Emmy Award for its Mobile App - Through the America's Cup mobile app, fans could get race results, video, race animation graphics, wind and tide information, and photos, as well as engage in chat, all in real time - on their tablet or phone, from anywhere in the world.... [more]
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America's Cup: 2010 Cup winner begins new journey to Oracle Corp
Erik Simonson -,
It seems that the 2010 America's Cup winner, USA-17, is on the move to a new permanent location at Oracle Corporation, in San Francisco. US website filed these images of the first stages of her journey and new display place.... [more]
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