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9 September 2001, 08:28 am
Challening for a Spot in the Stars
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Iain Murray (AUS) in Olympic Campaign

Iain Murray, arguably Australia's best-known yachtsman, has embarked on an Olympic campaign for Athens 2004 in the Star keelboat class with crewman Andrew Palfrey.
Murray became a household name in the 70s through his domination of Sydney Harbour 18-Foot skiff racing in Color 7. He is also a former Etchells world champion and helmed the 12-Metre Kookaburra in the 1987 America's Cup defence. Match

In recent years he has cut back his sailing, but is now keen to return to the cutting edge of yacht racing.

Palfrey also has vast experience in top-level sailing, narrowly missing selection for the 2000 Olympics as crew on a Soling.

The pair has just returned from the US, where they competed in the Star North American Championships. They finished 22nd out of 65 starters.

"It was our first regatta together," Palfrey said. "We did not sail brilliantly and suffered from only mediocre speed but in some races we did really well to pull back and get in amongst it."

The Star is traditionally a class that rewards the most seasoned campaigners although this trend was broken when Ian Walker and Mark Covell (GBR) won the Silver Medla in Sydney after only a two year intensive campaign. Also, last month's world championships were won by Finn sailor Freddy Loof (SWE) in his first season.

"It gives new teams like Iain and I a lot of encouragement, as we know that with effective management and hard work, we will reach the level required to win Australian selection and ultimately win a medal."
Mark Rothfield/ISAF Secretariat
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