Friday, 17 September 2010

America's Cup: Iain Murray (AUS) Appointed CEO and Race Director, America's Cup Race Management

Andy Hindley (GBR) is Chief Operating Officer, ACRM

Iain Murray. Image copyright Chuck Bradley.

by Tim Jeffery

America’s Cup experience and business acumen are the primary attributes of the new 34th America’s Cup Regatta Director, Iain Murray.

As Regatta Director, Murray (52, Sydney, Australia) heads up the new America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM), holding the dual role of CEO of the independent organization.

This is the first time in the event’s 159-year history that the defender has divested management of the competition into the hands of a neutral body, a central part of its vision to move the America’s Cup into the future.

ACRM will have responsibility over a wide range of topics including budget, management of the new AC72 and AC45 classes, the Youth America’s Cup (slated for 2012), the International Jury, race committee, umpires and measurement committee.

ACRM also will oversee the operation of a meteorological and oceanographic data service, the establishment and management of the America’s Cup Village, and infrastructure at all America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) venues.

With the 34th Match slated for 2013, one of ACRM’s immediate priorities is getting the ACWS up and running. Three regattas are planned for next year beginning in June or July, and ACRM is responsible for selecting the venues and managing the logistics from event to event.

Murray, a figurehead in America’s Cup syndicates from 1983 to 1995, has held a vision of an independent management body for the past 20 years.

The sailor and designer in Murray make him excited about the new high-performance AC72 and AC45 catamarans introduced for the competition.

“I think the technology we saw in the 33rd America’s Cup makes it hard to go backwards. The trick we’ll have is to marry the commercial demands of modern sailing with the principles of the America’s Cup,” Murray said.

“It’s hard not to be impressed by the commitment BMW ORACLE Racing, Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison have made to fix this thing,” said Murray. “This is very dear to my heart. I’d move mountains to be involved.”

Joining Murray in ACRM as the Chief Operating Officer is Andy Hindley, former Race Manager of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Hindley (43, Hampshire, UK) managed the 2001-02 and 05-06 editions of the Volvo Ocean Race before becoming in 2008 the Race and Technical Director of Powerboat P1 Management, the offshore monohull powerboat championship, for two years.

Hindley’s personal racing background is based largely in round-the-world races. Hindley, who holds a degree in physics, has a strong background in logistics from his days with the Volvo Ocean Race and P1 Powerboats.

Both events are travelling road shows that place heavy emphasis on public race villages in multiple venues.

“Getting the ACRM team arranged as quickly as possible is going to be one of the biggest goals,” Hindley said. “Logistics, catering, entertainment, public events and sport are all under the remit of ACRM, and we can’t let any of them slip. They’re all inter-linked and what will create the unique experience of coming to a World Series regatta.”

Biography of Iain Murray

Iain Murray. Image copyright Chuck Bradley.

Iain Murray AM
Regatta Director and CEO,
America’s Cup Race Management

Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Date of birth: April 14, 1958
Wife: Alex
Children: Eliza, Lucinda, Imogen

Iain Murray began sailing on Middle Harbor, Sydney, as a 9-year-old in the Flying Ant class.

His greatest success came in Sydney’s iconic 18ft skiff class, in which he designed, built and sailed Color 7 to win a record six consecutive championships from 1977 to 1982. The association between Murray and Australia’s Channel 7 carries on today, 33 years later.

The success in the 18’ skiffs led Syd Fischer, Australia’s most regular and least successful challenger for the America’s Cup to select him as helmsman of his 1983 challenger Advance.

Murray joined with Kevin Parry’s Kookaburra syndicate for Australia’s defense of the Cup in 1987. Kookaburra earned the right to defend the Cup after a cantankerous defense series, but was vanquished in the 26th Cup Match by Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes.

That series off Perth, Western Australia, is widely regarded as the one of the best
America’s Cup regattas due to its openness and fantastic sailing conditions.

Murray also led the Spirit of Australia Challenge for the 1992 Challenger Series, which failed to advance out of round robin racing.

Murray has enjoyed a tremendous career as an offshore sailor, winning many of the world’s classic events. He’s logged 17 Sydney-Hobart Races, including two overall victories and four line honors wins. He also was on the winning Australian team at the last Champagne Mumm Admiral’s Cup, and took down Paul Cayard to win the 1988 match racing world championship.

As a one-design sailor, Murray ranks his Etchells World Championship in 1984 as one of his most satisfying victories. He also placed third at the 2005 Etchells Worlds.

In 2008 Murray competed in the Olympic Regatta at the age of 50 when he represented Australia in the Star Class.

Besides an illustrious racing career, Murray has achieved great success as a real estate developer and businessman. His company, Murlan, is a multi-disciplined property development firm that has undertaken a number of unique and diverse projects over the years.

In recognition for his achievements and meritorious service to sport and community, Murray was presented in 1992 the Order of Australia, AM, an order of chivalry established by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, in 1975.

Murray has contributed design input for the public sector on projects such as child care, retirement and marine rescue centers. His real estate development company manages several enterprises in Sydney.

He also consulted with noted Australian architect Wayne Barda on the design of the spectacular Hamilton Island Yacht Club.

Beyond the sailing accolades and business success, Murray says his greatest achievement is his close-knit family: “Watching my children laugh gives me the greatest pleasure in life."

Biography of Andy Hindley

Andy Hindley. Image copyright Javier Laguna Salinas /

Andy Hindley
Chief Operating Officer,
America’s Cup Race Management

Hometown: Curdridge, Hampshire, UK
Date of birth: July 15, 1967
Wife: Julie

Andy Hindley began sailing at the age of 14 and advanced to the national level. In his late teens he was sailing quarter- and half-tonners during the days of IOR racing.

He has twice sailed around the world.

In the 1992-93 British Steel Challenge he crewed aboard Hofbräu Lager for skipper Pete Goss, placing third overall in the “wrong way” race around the world.

Four years later he was back for the BT Challenge, this time as skipper of Save the Children. Once again, he placed third overall.

Following that success he re-joined with Goss as navigator for the ill-fated Team Philips, the radical twin-mast catamaran that broke apart in the Atlantic Ocean in December 2000.

Hindley has broad sailing experience. He co-skippered with Nigel Musto an Open 60 in the Round Britain and Ireland Race. He also completed the Round Europe Race aboard a 60-foot trimaran.

His ties to the America’s Cup stretch to the Fastnet Race, where he crewed with Australian John Bertrand aboard an Open 50. Bertrand skippered Australia II to an historic triumph in the 1983 America’s Cup.

In 2001 Hindley joined Volvo Event Management UK as Race Director for the globe-girdling race, a position he held until 2008 that included the 2001-02 and 05-06 races.

From 2008 to 2010 Hindley was the Projects and Operations Director for Powerboat P1 Management, managing the offshore monohull powerboat world championship.

Hindley holds a degree in physics and electronics from the University of Manchester – Institute of Science and Technology. His focus in astro and nuclear physics give him a unique take on the 34th America’s Cup.

“The next cup promises to be the flagship of sport,” Hindley said. “The vision, commitment and promises that are being made and delivered are fantastic.”

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