Friday, 31 December 2010

Interview with Laurie Jury, Team KiwiMatch: match racer and coach

Laurie Jury (NZL) at the Detroit Match Cup 2010. Image copyright Meredith Block.

Laurie Jury is a product of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's youth training programme, which he commenced at the age of 15. He has persisted in match racing, rising through the ranks to become Telecom New Zealand National Match Racing Champion in 2009, and winning the Mumbai International Match Race in 2010, competing, and passing on his skills and experience through coaching, nationally and internationally.

Anne Hinton caught up with Laurie Jury earlier this year between his coaching and match racing.

Laurie Jury and crew: 2009 Telecom New Zealand Match Race Champions. Image copyright RNZYS.

AH: How, in what, and at what age, did you start sailing?

LJ: I started sailing at about 7 in an Opti out of Sandspit Yacht Club. Both my parents sail and they got me into it.

AH: What was your progression (e.g. P class/Starlings) through boats/events?

LJ: I sailed an Opti but never really raced it then had a Flying Ant - again never really racing just sailing around Kawau Bay with friends. I only started racing in high school with the Mahurangi College school team. I sailed in the team from form 2 to form 6 and we finished 5th,´4th, 3rd, 2nd, and 3rd in the nationals. I was team captain for 3 years. I also raced in a Starling but not very competitively. I joined the RNZYS youth training programme in the 5th form, when I was 15.

Laurie Jury and SLAM Kiwi Match competing at the Chicago Match Race Cup 2010. Image copyright CMRC.

AH: When did you do the RNZYS youth programme and get into match racing?

LJ: When I was 15 in 1999 I started on the chase boat then I skippered for 3 years after that. My first international match race was the Harken Cup in Sydney in 2000 I was 17, doing mainsheet for Carl Peters.

AH: Which people/teams have you competed against a lot?

LJ: Most of the New Zealand teams; Graeme Sutherland who is now doing tactics with me - we have been racing each other since we were 7. I have also sailed with most of the other NZ teams at some point.

Laurie Jury and his KiwiMatch team win the Mumbai International Match Race 2010. Supplied image.

AH: Please could you mention key results throughout your sailing career?

LJ: 1st 2002 Harken Cup,
1st 2003 Hardy Cup,
2nd 2003 RNZYS Squadron youth international,
3rd 2007 Teams racing world championships,
3rd in 2007 and 2008 NZ Match Racing National Championships,
2nd 2006 Auckland Cup (tactics for Ian Williams),
1st 2007 and 2008(crew) NZ Keelboat Nationals,
1st 2008 Young 88 Nationals (crew),
1st 2009 Telecom NZ Match Racing Nationals,
1st 2010 international Mumbai Match race

AH: What university/career have you had alongside the sailing?

LJ: I studied Engineering at Massey University but didn’t finish. I have also have done a lot of boat building for my step dad at Blair Boats. More recently I hav been coaching for Yachting New Zealand, Buckland’s Beach Yacht Club, and the Korean and Japanese national teams.

AH: What made you decide to take on match racing internationally?

LJ: I started at a young age and was quite good at it. I really enjoy the team aspect and the intense sailing.

AH: What made you decide to take on coaching sailing in NZ and internationally?

LJ: It was a way that I could keep sailing, and I also enjoy passing knowledge on.

Jury competing at the Chicago Match Race Cup 2010. Image copyright CMRC.

AH: How do you see your sailing progressing into the future?

LJ: We have got to a stage where it really depends on funding to how much and well we can compete. This year we did 5 events, funding them ourselves, with different crews at most events. To get to the next level we need to do about 10-15 events with the same team at each event.

AH: Of the major events – Olympics/Volvo/America’s Cup – which do you want to do (and why)?

LJ: Given the opportunity I would like to do all of them, but the main one would be the America's Cup, because I like match racing.

AH: What support have you had in your sailing?

LJ: My parents have always been really supportive, buying boats and helping me with flights. More lately RNZYS has given us some help and SLAM has helped us with some gear.

Farr MRX match racing on the Waitemata in Auckland. Image copyright RNZYS.

AH: What sponsors have you had in your sailing?

LJ: First mobile (Peter Taylor), Dorlon, Davis and Langdon, skyeye, line 7, SLAM, Hermes Capital.

AH: Who have been the most influential people in your sailing?

LJ: My youth programme coaches, Kevin Peet and Harold Bennett. More recently I have been sailing with Ian Williams and coaching with Rod Davis.

AH: Who do you most look up to in sailing in NZ/internationally, and why?

LJ: Russell Coutts and Chris Dickson; they really paved the way for NZ sailing.

Laurie Jury and crew following in the footsteps of NZ's top match racers by winning the Telecom New Zealand Match Racing championships 2009. Image copyright RNZYS.

AH: How did you develop the sailing programme of training/events to compete in for 2010?

LJ: It was just a matter of what events we could get entry into, and find funding and crew for.

AH: What have been the highlights of racing over the past year for you?

LJ: Winning in Mumbai and 3rd in Detroit, match racing. Also finishing 3rd crewing/coaching a Japanese team in the Asian nationals was a highlight in 2010.

AH: What plans do you have for racing in 2011?

LJ: That really depends on sponsorship at this stage.

Team Kiwi Match match racing in La Rochelle. Supplied image.

AH: What developments in the sport of sailing would you like to see in the future – in NZ and internationally?

LJ: It would be really good to see more match racing events in NZ. We have so many good teams but very few open events. We spend so much money to fly to the other side of the world to race against other Kiwis!

Team KiwiMatch