Yachting: Next generation joins the party

By Dana Johannsen, in San Francisco

The next generation (from left) Annaleisha Rae, Danny Cayard, Grant Davis, Hannah Davis, Alex Davidson, Eliza Murray and Imogen Murray.
The next generation (from left) Annaleisha Rae, Danny Cayard, Grant Davis, Hannah Davis, Alex Davidson, Eliza Murray and Imogen Murray.

They're the children of America's Cup legends now making a mark on the event themselves.

Run your eye down the list of hard-working event staff keeping the San Francisco regatta running like a well-oiled machine and you will notice many well-known sailing names. The progeny of several of the 80s-era America's Cup sailors, some of whom are still competing in this year's regatta, have found themselves working on the organisational and logistical side of the event.

Team New Zealand have produced several staff working at the event, with Hannah and Grant Davis (the children of sailing coach Rod Davis), Thomas Shoebridge (chief operating officer Kevin Shoebridge's son), and Annaleisha Rae (daughter of veteran sailor Tony Rae) all landing themselves jobs in San Francisco.

Shoebridge was working for the Louis Vuitton Cup events team, while Rae is helping out at a company based in San Francisco called Kiwi Landing Pad - not strictly associated with the America's Cup, but she has had plenty of involvement with the event nonetheless.

Another Kiwi, Alex Davidson, whose father Grant has worked for both Team New Zealand and Oracle, is part of the media services team.

Hannah Davis is the team's liaison officer for the event and has been helping run sailing events for the past five years. Having leapt from one contract to the next since 2008, Davis said the end of the Cup cycle will be the first time she has been able to take a breath and reassess what she wants to do.

But she believes she'll inevitably end up continuing to work in the sport - not that it was her original plan when she first left university with a bachelor of communications.

"I started out working for C4 television, which is about as different from sailing as you can get, but I volunteered to help out for the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series when it came to Auckland and then it kind of just snowballed from there," she said.

Brother Grant works in the race management team as part of the mark boat crew. Grant works alongside Danny Cayard, the son of Artemis chief executive Paul Cayard, and the pair have formed a tight friendship, in their spare time working on building a scale-model foiling AC45.

Danny, who sails in the 29er and 49er classes, said he has no ambition to compete in the America's Cup himself, but enjoys being a part of the logistical side of the event.

"It's fun to get to experience a different side of the sailing world that I have been involved with my whole life."

Regatta director Iain Murray's three daughters Eliza, 21, Lucinda, 18, and Imogen, 15, are all working for various Cup organisations - Eliza in the media services team, Lucinda for the Louis Vuitton Cup events team, while Imogen is doing an internship with America's Cup TV in between schoolwork commitments.

Eliza, who has been based in London for the past 18 months completing a BA, said the opportunity for professional development as well as spending time with her family is what lured her to San Francisco.

- NZ Herald

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