Six of the best
In an America’s Cup cluttered with Kiwis, Julie Ash has a close look at six from the two main challengers, Oracle and Team New Zealand.
BMW ORACLE RACING Syndicate head/skipper: Chris Dickson Competing in his fifth America’s Cup, Dickson was just 24 when at the helm of New Zealand’s first challenge. From the mid-1980s to early 1990s, he dominated the match-racing circuit. An aggressive helmsman, Dickson demands much of his team. Designer: Bruce Farr Born in Auckland in 1949, Farr is one of the world’s best yacht designers. Farr became involved in the cup in 1987 with the New Zealand Challenge. He went on to work for Tag Heuer, Young America and now Oracle. Tactician/helmsman: Gavin Brady Brady took part in his first America’s Cup in 1995 alongside Dickson on Tag Heuer. He was in the afterguard with AmericaOne in 2000 and Prada in 2003. Brady is expected to fill the tactician’s role. Grinder: Craig Monk (Right) The Finn class bronze medallist at the 1992 Olympics, Monk was part of Team New Zealand’s successful campaigns in 1995 and 2000 before switching to OneWorld. He is now with Oracle, where he is a grinder and the sailing manager. Trimmer: Ross Halcrow Regarded as one of the world’s best sail trimmers, Halcrow has been involved in the America’s Cup for 16 years. He was part of the 1995 Team New Zealand campaign. Halcrow sailed on Illbruck, which dominated the 2001-02 Round the World yacht race. Trimmer: Robbie Naismith Also highly regarded in the world of trimming. Known as “the Battler”, he has won two America’s Cups, two Louis Vuitton Cups, a couple of Kenwood Cups, Sydney to Hobarts and the Admirals Cup. An integral part of Oracle’s sail programme, he contributes to rig and deck layout. ❚ Other Kiwi sailors in Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Emirates Team New Zealand: Kelvin Harrap, Stu Bettany, Nick Heron, Jeremy Lomas, Barry McKay, Matthew Mason, Richard Meacham, Andrew McLean, Chris McAsey, Jonathan Macbeth, Winston McFarlane, Rob Waddell, Chris Ward, Don Cowie, James Dagg, Grant Loretz, Chris Salthouse, Rob Salthouse. BMW Oracle: Sean Clarkson, Scott Crawford, Stuart Clarke, Rod Dawson, Ed Smyth, Joe Spooner, Zac Hurst, Ian Baker, David Brooke, Jamie Gale, Phil Jameson, Brad Webb, Carl Williams, Hayden Goodrick, Robbie Naismith, Morgan Trubovich. Tony Rae A veteran of five America’s Cup campaigns, all for Team New Zealand, you could almost say Rae symbolises the Kiwi challengers – not too flashy, just a solid, humble, hard working guy. Rae has also competed in three Round the World races, numerous keelboat regattas and the international match-racing circuit, making his experience invaluable. EMIRATES TEAM NEW ZEALAND Syndicate head: Grant Dalton Known for his exploits from over two decades in Round the World racing, Dalton was called in to restructure and revitalise Team New Zealand after it lost the America’s Cup in 2003. Renown for his meticulous attention to detail and tough persona, Dalton leads by example. Sail designer: Burns Fallow After three campaigns with Team New Zealand and involvement with sail programes on many high-profile projects, Fallow is in charge of Team New Zealand’s sail programme – an area in which they look formidable. Director of sailing and operations: Kevin Shoebridge With five America’s Cup campaigns behind him, Shoebridge has brought plenty of experience to Team New Zealand. Like Dalton, Shoebridge has a strong background in the Round the
World race, which he won twice. Strategist: Ray Davies With successes in the Whitbread and Volvo races, Davies is a helmsman and tactician in demand on the international circuit. He was a member of the Team New Zealand weather team in 2003 and returns as a member of the afterguard. He sailed with AmericaOne in the 2000 cup, was helmsman on the winning Illbruck in the 2001-02 Volvo Ocean Race following a second on Merit Cup in the 1997-98 Whitbread. Skipper/helmsman: Dean Barker Barker’s America’s Cup career started at Team New Zealand in 1995 before embarking on an Olympic campaign. Returning in 2000, he famously took the helm from Russell Coutts in the last race to guide the syndicate to a 5-0 win over Prada. A talented match racer, Barker is strong in the pre-start and confident around the course.