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Iain Murray joins Australian Sailing as Performance Director

by Richard Gladwell, on 3 Sep 2017
Regatta Director, Iain Murray - America's Cup 2017, May 27, 2017 Great Sound Bermuda Richard Gladwell
One of Australia's most accomplished sailors, Iain Murray has been appointed to the role of Performance Director of Australian Sailing according to a report on Fox Sport's website.

No formal announcement had been made but that is expected on Monday. Murray will start on October 4.

He takes over the role from Peter Conde, who had worked with the Australian sailing team for the past three Olympiads. He had been with the former Yachting Australia for 13 years. In a move announced at the end of August, Conde leaves to become Director of the Australian Institute of Sport. The announcement of his departure can be read by clicking here

Murray takes over the reins of one of the most successful Olympic teams - winning three medals in the 2008 Olympics and four medals at each of the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Sailing was Australia's top Olympic sport at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Iain Murray has a long record of success in sailing covering design and sailing, having won seven 18ft skiff world titles beginning in 1977 in Auckland with Colour 7 - a boat he designed and skippered.

Murray skippered the 12 Metre Kookaburra III in the 1987 Defence of the America's Cup in Fremantle, as well as competing in the 1983 and 1995 Louis Vuitton Cups. He competed in the 2008 Olympics in the Star class, and is a long-time competitor and former world champion in the Etchells class.

As a designer Iain Murray is best known for his continuous development of Australia's top ocean racer, Wild Oats XI. The ongoing hull and appendage surgery has kept the supermaxi owned by the Oatley family as the boat to beat in any event at which she graces the start line. Murray has also continued a strong coach/designer relationship with the 18ft skiff Gotta Love It 7 campaign, winning several JJ Giltinan trophies, the unofficial world championship of the class.

For the past two America's Cup Regattas, Iain Murray has been the Regatta Director. Although a sometimes controversial figure in the San Francisco event, he did an an outstanding job at the Bermuda regatta to the point of running a faultless event in regard to race management. He had indicated at the end of the 35th America's Cup that he was keen to continue in the role, if required.

Between the 2013 and 2017 America's Cups, Murray was thrust into the role of leading Team Australia for the Hamilton Island Yacht Club as he attempted to negotiate a Protocol with representatives of the Golden Gate Yacht Club, after HIYC were accepted as the Challenger of Record following the 34th America's Cup. The Challenge was backed by the Oatley family with whom Murray has had a close and trusted relationship over a number of years. However, the Challenge did not proceed when the gap between the terms under which HIYC was comfortable and GGYC's demands became too great.

The Oatley family have also been strong supporters of the Australian Sailing Team, and that strong relationship is expected to be enhanced with Murray's appointment as Performance Director.

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