America's Cup administrative appointments
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, from 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," said Murray. "The trick we’ll have is to marry the commercial demands of modern sailing with the principles of the America’s Cup.”
“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. He also has multihull experience and was navigator on Pete Goss' Team Phillips.
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.”