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Iain Murray AM

“Designer, boatbuilder, champion offshore sailor, Olympic competitor and coach and multiple 18ft-skiff world champion, Iain Murray has dedicated his life to the sport - and success.”

Iain Murray's name is one that is synonymous with the sport of sailing in Australia.

His journey through the maritime world began at a young age, marked by unparalleled dedication and a relentless pursuit of excellence.

The yacht-designer, boatbuilder, offshore sailor, Olympic competitor, Olympic coach, and multiple 18ft-skiff world champion has dedicated his life to the sport.

At the age of nine, Iain started sailing in the Flying Ant class. His first major event win followed not long after, when he won the 1973 Australian Cherub Championships in a boat he had designed and built himself at the age of 12.

Iain has secured numerous titles and honours throughout his illustrious career, including six consecutive World Championships in the 18-foot skiff class from 1977 to 1982 and prestigious trophies such as the Admiral's Cup and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

Over the course of his career, he has also had a long involvement with the America’s Cup. 

In the 1983 America’s Cup challenge at Newport he sailed on Syd Fischer’s Advance team. He then went on to become project director/design team and helmsman for Kevin Parry’s Kookaburra Syndicate for the 1987 America’s Cup defense.

He was the lead designer of Spirit of Australia in 1992 before his final sailing campaign with John Bertrand’s OneAustralia at the 1995 challenger trials.

He was recognised as the Australian Yachtsmen of the Year in 1984. In the same year he won the World Etchells championship, a title he won again an amazing 35 years later in Corpus Christi, Texas.

His long-standing involvement with the Sydney to Hobart yacht race includes 27 races, 9 line honours and three overall victories to date along with race records.

He also won one as a designer, builder and skipper of Bumblebee 5 in 2001.

As a boat designer, Murray developed the Nippa dinghy for children, and also in partnership with Ian Burns and Andy Dovell, designed the Murray 41, the Sydney 36, 38 and 46 and the Magic 25.

He won an Admiral’s Cup in 2003, represented Australia in the Star class at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was the Campaign Director for the Australian Olympic Sailing Team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and in 2023 inductee into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame.

Murray has stayed heavily involved as an official, serving as Regatta Director Regatta Director of the America’s Cup in 2013, 2017 and 2021, and will hold the role at the 2024 America’s Cup in Barcelona.

He has also been the Regatta Director for SailGP since its inception in 2018.

Beyond his personal accomplishments, Iain has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of sailing. His visionary leadership and innovation have left an indelible mark on the sport.