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IAN “FRESH” BURNS
Position: Director of Performance at ORACLE TEAM USA
Birthdate: July 21, 1960
Birthplace: Armidale, NSW, Australia
Residence: Warwick, Bermuda & San Francisco, California, USA
Ian “Fresh” Burns is now part of his ninth America’s Cup campaign, spanning nearly 30 years of sailing history. He returns to his role heading up performance analysis with ORACLE TEAM USA, a team focused on winning a third consecutive America’s cup.
Burns was the youngest of three children growing up around Sydney Harbour. His mother had been a keen sailor during the war years and the Burns children were all immersed in sailing from early ages. “As the youngest, I was the logical crew person,” says Fresh. “There was no escape, really. From about the age of five, I was crewing regularly.
”After graduating with honors from the University of Sydney in mechanical engineering, Burns began to focus on international racing. “During my university years, I had my first taste of high level racing when I got an opportunity to sail with Syd Fischer (who spearheaded five America’s Cup campaigns) when he was twoboat testing his Ragamuffin yachts.”
Opportunities to join the Kookaburra America’s Cup team in 1985 with Iain Murray – an old sailing buddy and multi world champion who now runs the America’s Cup Regattas– allowed Burns to combine his sailing skills and technical aptitude in one occupation. Later, forming a design house with Murray, they were responsible for multiple Sydney to Hobart winning designs (including design and navigating the winner in 1995), world championships and Admiral’s Cup wins. Successive America’s Cups have offered consecutive positions as navigator onboard various defenders and challengers, design involvement in carbon fiber masts and hulls, performance analysis and software development.
Burns joined the Oracle America’s Cup campaigns when they first formed in the summer of 2000. He sailed with the crew as a navigator during the 2002-03 Challenger Selection Series; and for the 2007 and 2010 campaigns, he ran the design process for the massive winged trimamran. Winning the 2010 and 2013 America's Cups with yachts that pushed the boundaries on what is possible provided Burns the ability to develop and apply the latest technology to the fastest boats.
Focusing on the performance information from the boats to help make them go faster has been a life-long passion for Burns, who has seen onboard yachting technology go from hand-bearing compasses and 10-knot top speeds to multiple computers integrated through a 50-knot platform.
1987: 26th America’s Cup – Kookaburra (navigator)
1992: 28th America’s Cup – Spirit of Australia (design/navigator)
1995: 29th America’s Cup – One Australia (design/navigator)
2000: 30th America’s Cup – Aloha Challenge (design/navigator)
2003: 31st America’s Cup – Oracle BMW Racing (navigator)
2007: 32nd America’s Cup – BMW Oracle Racing (design)
2010: 33rd America’s Cup – BMW Oracle Racing (design)
2013: 34th America’s Cup – ORACLE TEAM USA (design)
2017: 35th America’s Cup – ORACLE TEAM USA (design)
1995: Sydney-Hobart Winner – Terra Firma (design/navigator)
1998: Maxi World Championship - Sayonara
2003: Admiral’s Cup Winner – Wild Oats - Multiple Sydney-Hobart Line Honours wins on Wild Oats XI