Harold Bennett (Director on-water operations and assistant PRO)
Harold Bennett has been appointed to the race management team for the 34th America's Cup.
The New Zealander, who has been a race officer for the last four editions of the America's Cup, will be the Director of On-Water Operations and Assistant Principal Race Officer.
'Harold has vast experience in America's Cup race management over the last decade,' said Iain Murray, Regatta Director and CEO America's Cup Race Management. 'In that time, he's earned the trust and respect of the sailors as someone who will provide them with good, fair racing. With Harold on the race course, they know they can expect the same thing at the America's Cup World Series events, the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America's Cup Finals.'
As the Principal Race Officer for the 33rd America's Cup in Valencia, Bennett is also one of the few to have race management experience with giant multihulls.
'It's a fantastic opportunity to be involved with this new era of the America's Cup,' Bennett said from Auckland. 'From a race management perspective, dealing with the new classes of catamarans - the AC45 and then the AC72 - is going to be an exciting challenge. The New Zealand pre-season testing will also serve as a dress rehearsal for our race management team as we prepare for the upcoming World Series with the 45s.'
Prior to his race officer duties with the America's Cup, Bennett managed racing programs at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron including serving as long time coach for New Zealand's youth and Olympic sailors.
For the 34th America's Cup, Bennett will work with John Craig, the recently appointed Principal Race Officer, and Regatta Director Iain Murray.
Bennett is best known for starting the second race of the 33rd America's Cup against the wishes of the Race Committee, for which he earned the undying respect of the sailing world.