Anyone remember a little AC program called Young Australia, skippered by an arrogant little ginger named Jimmy? It was a hell of a program. They didn’t win, but Syd Fischer’s program (managed in part by Iain Murray) helped fire up more talented young Aussies than any other sailing initiative could have. And now, according to an article in the Australian, Murray is back on track for another ‘young’ Cup challenger after being outbid by Oracle, ETNZ, and Artemis for Aussies Tom Slingsby, Nathan Outteridge, Glenn Ashby, and most likely Jimmy himself.
We know some of those boys used the Oatley-led challenge to bid up their own salaries with their respective expat team, and now after a couple of months of ‘silly season’, we’re guessing Murray’s just about had it with the ‘establishment’ Aussies; with the Cup more and more athletic, youth may be far more valuable than experience anyway. And with the Aussies Olympic talent and their near-dominance of the top end of the foiler moth fleet, there’s no shortage of talent down under.
More importantly, Murray is hopefully signaling the Oatleys’ intent to challenge for more than just one cycle, with AC35 more of a training exercise than a real bid for victory against the massive favorite Oracle Team Everywhere. One good practice run, and maybe they will really be ready to win.