Murray to lead America’s Cup challenge

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The man in charge of this year’s America’s Cup, Iain Murray, has been chosen to head up Australia’s challenge in the 35th edition of sailing’s most celebrated contest.


Murray was on Thursday named chief executive of Hamilton Island Yacht Club’s Team Australia, who are also representing all challengers in dealings with the defender Oracle Team USA of Golden Gate Yacht Club, San Francisco for the next race.

Murray most recently held the dual role of CEO and regatta director of the last America’s Cup sailed on San Francisco Bay which ended in September.

The 55-year-old New South Welshman has accumulated vast experience on and off the water in a career which included competing in three America’s Cup, in 1983, 1987 and 1992.

The 55-year-old will be responsible for helping determine the rules, venue and boats used in the next race.

Winemaker Bob Oatley, backer of Australia’s fledgling tilt, said Murray was the only man for the job.

“Iain knows what it takes to win an America’s Cup,” Oatley said in a statement.

“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.”

Murray said he had long been an avid supporter of Oatley and said there was “only ever going to be one answer” when asked to lead the first Australian challenge since 2000.

He said he has already had preliminary talks with Oracle Team USA boss Sir Russell Coutts and they were working towards firming up protocol and equipment for the next America’s Cup.

“I’m looking forward to working closely with the defender and on behalf of the Challengers to mould the 35th Cup into another magnificent sporting spectacle,” he added.

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