Ky Hurst, here with Kate Waterhouse, is an ambassador for the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service. Photo: Christopher Pearce Photo: Christopher PearceKy Hurst is one of surf-lifesaving’s most successful Ironmen ever.
The two-time Olympic long-distance swimmer made headlines last month when he retired from the sport to take up a prized contract with America’s Cup champions Oracle Team USA.
Hurst is moving to Bermuda – the team’s training base – in September to commence his preparations for the 2017 America’s Cup.
Before his departure, Hurst will run the The Sun-Herald City2Surf on Sunday, August 9, and he is a Westpac ambassador for the 14-kilometre race. Kate Waterhouse caught up with the 34-year-old to chat about the America’s Cup, adjusting to team sports and the famous fun run to Bondi Beach.
Congratulations on your new career path and making the Oracle Team USA. Thanks, I’m still really taken back by it all. I’ve worked my freckle off to be a part of it. It has been a little bit of a process. I’ve had tests and trials in Bermuda and it went really well over there. At the end of that stint, they sat me down and they said, “Would you like to be a part of Oracle Team USA?” and here we are today. They have really made me feel welcome. I’m looking at packing up the house soon and taking the whole family over there in September, and no looking back, really.
You have had a career in surf lifesaving, swimming and now sailing. Did you ever expect you’d have such a diverse sporting career? No. But to tell you the truth, I grew up surfing and I grew up sailing as well. My grandfather taught me how to sail, so I’ve always sailed. Anything to do in the water or on the water is kind of my life. I live and breathe it and bleed it. So, for me personally, I think it was just the right time in my career to have a change.
Did you just fall into sailing or did you always plan to have a career in it? No, always sailed my whole life. But I sailed as more of a leisure than a sport. I’ve always followed the America’s Cup, obviously with Australia winning in 1983. It was just the pinnacle, I think, for sailing here in this country. And then we’ve got guys like Tom Slingsby, who won an Olympic gold last Olympics. I followed these guys’ careers for a really long time, so I always knew it was there. But I had never planned it until this opportunity arose.
I imagine taking part in a team sport would be a completely different experience for you. Did that take some adjusting? Yes, it took a little bit of getting used to, just getting my head around it, I think, at first. But it’s something that I’ve wanted for a really long time – to be a part of a team and to be able to work together, collectively with your mates, and I really like that. I think it’s not about me any more, it’s about Oracle Team USA and the boys that are on that team. That has been a big lure for me for a really long time.
What is your involvement in The Sun-Herald City2Surf? I’m an ambassador for the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service. I go around the country promoting what these guys do, help the general public have a better understanding on the service they provide to our public and our country.
What’s your training regime for the City2Surf? We haven’t got too long, so at the moment it’s just about pounding that pavement, and just getting up some kilometres. The best thing about the City2Surf is that you just get a buzz out of it. To have 85,000 runners and, along the course, to have music and entertainment gives off a really great energy, so who doesn’t want to be a part of that? I love that it caters for all levels. I go there just to enjoy the run, the day and the atmosphere.
What was it like to compete at the Olympics in the 10-kilometre marathon swimming event? It was a buzz. It’s funny, I juggled [swimming] and surf lifesaving for a long time. I turned professional at 15. But I felt, for so many years, I was missing something. I had always just missed out on making the team during the Olympic trials. And then they announced in 2008 there would be an open-water event and that would be the 10 kilometres and I thought, “Oh, this is fantastic. This is right down my alley. It’s open water. There’s no walls. It’s an endurance event.” So it just ticked all the boxes at that time. Beijing was amazing, London was just a buzz. We had 250,000 people lining the shores of the Serpentine when I raced. That was the first time, in my life, that I had actually heard the crowd the whole time that I swam that 10-kilometre race.
What gets you through a long-distance race? I sing to myself [laughs] – whatever is in my head!
What do you do for fun when you’re not training? For me now, it’s just hanging out with my 2 ½-year-old boy and the family. That takes up everything at the moment. I’m really looking forward to him getting to a certain age where I can throw him on a surfboard; take him to the snow and take him snowboarding. They’re the hobbies that I do, anything to do with the ocean or the snow or mountain-biking.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? At the moment I’m looking towards 2017 America’s Cup, obviously, with Oracle Team USA, and then beyond that I think I’m still young enough to continue through to the next America’s Cup [in] 2021. So a lot of it would be determined on how the next two years go.KateWaterhouse南京夜网
WE WENT TO The Sydney Westpac Life Saver Helicopter Base, La Perouse.
WE ATE Orchard Street green felafel salad with zucchini hummus, sunflower tabouli and red cabbage salad on a bed of seasonal greens. Pad Thai with a tahini dressing and dukkah sprinkle, kelp noodles, organic vegetables, tamari marinated cashews and almond satay sauce
WE DRANK Orchard Street juice.
KY WORE Sportswear.
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