When glued to America’s Cup Challenge coverage, it’s easy to think that each member of Emirates Team New Zealand has “just one job” in the race to get the boat across the line.
But in the case of team member Ray Davies, he has about half a dozen. A professional sailor for over 25 years - the majority of that with Emirates Team New Zealand – Ray wears many sailor hats (or is it helmets?); that of tactician; strategist; boat designer, helmsman and arguably the most important one, that of coach.
Ray’s yachting career was perhaps inevitable, as he grew up in, on and by the water, in Mairangi Bay on the North Shore of Auckland. His childhood lent itself to all water sports, and from a young age, sailing became his passion at Murray’s Bay Sailing Club.
After finishing school and running his own electrician business, the opportunity arose to jump into the professional sailing scene, and there Ray has stayed.
From his early sailing days in the 1997/98 Whitbread Round the World and Volvo Ocean Races; to leading Kiwis to win the 36th America’s Cup in 2021 on Te Rehutai, Ray has been an integral member of the teams he has worked with, both in practical and tactical capacities.
Ray collaborated closely with design teams to formulate the boats that won in Bermuda and subsequently, Auckland. The team’s focus was on speed and performance, creating the first foiling boat and using world leading technology and innovation to power the boat with bicycles and PlayStation controllers.
Other achievements in Ray’s career include winning the Volvo Ocean Race, Sydney to Hobart, Admirals Cup, TP52 series and in 2018 the RC44 series.
When he’s not based in various stunning locations for Cup Challenges, Ray lives in Auckland with his wife and young son.
A captivating and truly inspiring speaker, Ray discusses the critical culture of teamwork, sharing stories of triumph, defeat and leadership. If you are looking for a keynote to stir something deep in your audience, Ray will tick all the boxes.