The new boss

Grant Simmer tells of why he left Alinghi and what he expects in his new role as CEO of TeamOrigin
As we said in our editorial this week, Sir Keith Mills’ appointment of Grant Simmer as CEO of TeamOrigin we feel is one of the greatest indicators to date of the British America’s Cup team’s serious intent to capture the 34th America’s Cup. While several names were being mooted, but Simmer’s name was decided top of the list and none come with his depth of experience, spanning almost 30 years and culminating him managing the Swiss double America's Cup winning team. For Simmer is a Cup legend. Back in 1983 he was navigator on one of the most famous boats in AC history - Australia II, the first boat to prise the Auld Mug from the New York Yacht Club mantelpiece. He went on to be a tactician on Australia III and then navigator on Australia IV for the 1987 Cup in Fremantle, was sail co-ordinator and mainsheet trimmer with Spirit of Australia for 1991-2. In 1993-5 he moved fully into the design side working as Design Co-ordinator for Fluid Thinking who were behind the One Australia and Sydney yachts. For the 2000 Cup in Auckland he worked as a coach and adviser for America True before joining up with Alinghi soon after the initial group of Coutts, Butterworth, etc had been recruited by Ernesto Bertarelli. At Alinghi for the America’s Cup in Auckland in 2003, Simmer was on the design team, was also Team Co-ordinator and tactician on the B boat. When the America’s Cup moved to Valencia in the post-Coutts reshuffle, Simmer was promoted to General Manager and Design Coordinator, effectively running the team with Brad Butterworth. So Simmer ticks the boxes as a sailor, designer and manager – all areas where expertise is vital for running a Cup team successfully. As a straight talking Aussie, he