Cayard – master of acrobatics in Auckland

Paul Cayard is juggling – fast. In any one day at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland, he could be calling tactics on the capricious waters of the Waitemata Harbour, rallying his crew as skipper of the Swedish team Artemis, or making a decision in the running of the World Sailing Teams Association in his new role as chairman.

And in the bigger picture, the evergreen American hopes he is playing a hand in moulding the future of the world’s oldest sailing prize.

Cayard, 50, seems to be taking it all in his cowboy-like stride. At some point he knows he may have to relinquish some of his responsibilities, but right now, he’s relishing them all. “I need to have some mix,” he says. “But I need a month or two to figure what I’m going to do, what I’m going to let go of. There are a lot of roles that need a lot of attention all of a sudden, and I’m just taking the temperature of all the different projects before I make a decision.”

Sailing still ranks right up there. The former America’s Cup skipper returned to the big boats in the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice last November, shooting straight to the top of the mast for the first time in his sailing career, as Artemis’ strategist and windspotter. As tactician in the crew reshuffle for Auckland, Cayard is just enthusiastic back down on deck.

“Sailing these boats again is fairly second nature… but I’m kind of into new experiences. As you get older, you take age-defying actions, but hopefully not too desperately; hopefully nothing that’s ridiculously beyond your abilities.