- New Zealand sailor Gavin Brady has had to bite the bullet in his new job as deputy to America's Cup master Paul Cayard.
New Zealand sailor Gavin Brady has had to bite the bullet in his new job as deputy to America’s Cup master Paul Cayard. Brady, ranked No 2 in world matchracing for a time this year, is Cayard’s backup helmsman on AmericaOne.
Sounds like a glamour job, but one of Brady’s main roles is to stay upbeat as he gets his “butt kicked” every time he drives the practice boat on the water. Today, however, Brady evened the scores a little.
The master and his apprentice went sailing in three-man Etchells — miniature cup boats — on the Waitemata Harbour, waiting for their raceboat USA-49 to be repaired. While Brady said the victories were 50-50 between him and Cayard today, it was obvious from shore that Brady’s matchracing skills were a little more finely tuned. On race days in the Louis Vuitton Cup, Brady is happy to work the runners, half a step in front of the wheel, and offer advice to Cayard and tactician John Kostecki. Other days he drives the trialhorse, the 1995 OneAustralia — the one that didn’t sink — against USA-49, AmericaOne’s new boat .
“It’s the hardest job and longest job I’ve had to do.
“Paul explained to me I had to control the atmosphere on board AUS31 – when we are getting our butts kicked every single day by the new boat, I have to keep the guys’ morale up. “We wear t-shirts that say ‘AUS31 – lower and slower.”’ Things will get better once the latest AmericaOne boat arrives in Auckland next month. And Cayard has told Brady that he will have to steer the race yacht some days during the round robins. Cayard was the man who convinced the boy from Timaru to join his crew, after Brady had left rival US syndicate America True last summer to pursue his world matchracing career. At that stage Brady had vowed he would not race in the America’s Cup. “Paul changed my mind. He said they had an opening in the team for me,” Brady said. “It’s one of those decisions in you life where you have to go by your gut feeling. And most of my matchracing crew were already in the team, so it was either join up or go and find another crew of guys. “Paul has really allowed me to get into the heart of the team — he is the next cup legend, today’s competitive version of Mr America’s Cup, Dennis Conner.” Brady is also thrilled to work alongside Kostecki again — the pair have won two world Mumm 36 championships and sailed halfway around the world together on Chessie Racing in the last Whitbread. “The America’s Cup is different,” Brady said. “It can be long and tedious, and there’s only one reward — and that doesn’t come until March next year. “But it’s the pinnacle of world matchracing — and who wouldn’t want to be here?”