Former America's Cup winner links up with dad for World Masters Games

April 25th, 2017

A seven-time America's Cup sailor is taking a break from yachting around the world to link up with someone a bit more local - his dad.

Murray and Tony Rae will compete as a father-and-son duo in the Weta Double Handed sailing event at the World Masters Games which kicked off in Auckland this week.

It's the first time in 20 years the Glendowie residents have competed as a pair after they helped man an 24m maxi boat together back in 1997. A maxi yacht usually refers to a racing yacht of at least 21m in length.

"It's good to be back in a dingy and it's pretty cool to be sailing with dad," Tony said.

"We've never really done anything like this before."

Tony's success in sailing is no secret. He's regarded as one of the most respected competitors in the sport and even has a story about how he's responsible for Larry Ellison's involvement in the America's Cup.

Larry Ellison is the successful billionaire behind Oracle Team USA which famously beat Team NZ in the 2013 America's Cup.

His CV shows there's not a lot he hasn't done - winning two America's Cups with Team New Zealand, as well as being a part of the historic Steinlager 2 team which won the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race with skipper Sir Peter Blake.

The 55-year-old called it quits on his America's Cup career after 2013, though he's still actively sailing around the world in various ocean races.

Despite his son's enormous success, however, 78-year-old Rae senior is by no means second-fiddle to his son.

He was an Olympian at Rome in 1960 and won the Maxi World's with Tony in 1997.

He also went to the 2016 Rio Paralympic sailing team as part of the shore crew.

And Tony said it's his dad who deserves all the credit.

"Dad was pulling me around on a boat when I was seven or eight years old," Tony said.

"The whole reason I've made a career out of sailing is because of him."

Murray said he's been sailing since a young age is looking forward to getting back into a boat with his son.

He said it's a chance for him to finally get yelled at by Tony.

"It's just a wonderful opportunity and I'm thrilled," Murray said.

"I'm very lucky to be able to still do it."

This week's Masters Games is no social event for the pair.

Despite Tony flying out to Palma, Spain the day of the final race to compete in the Palma Vela Regatta, the duo have their sights firmly set on gold.

"It's going to be fun, but it's definitely competitive," Tony said.

"It's always competitive out on the water, we're even competitive if we go for a walk, that's just how it is."

The pair will hoist the sails against more than 20 other crews with the first race having been held on Sunday at Waiake Bay in Torbay.


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