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John Longley has been involved with sailing and the sea almost all of his life. He started sailing as a young boy in dinghies on the Swan River, graduating to ocean racing in Australia and later on in Europe and America, including the Transatlantic race. This lead to a long involvement with the America's Cup, which saw him sailing as a crew member in five consecutive America's Cup campaigns from 1974 to 1987.
In 1980, he became a professional sailor and accepted the full-time role as Project Manager for the America's Cup Challenge 1983. Besides the managerial role, he also sailed as a member of the crew on AUSTRALIA II during its historic win.
On return from Newport, Rhode Island, John was appointed General Manager of the America's Cup Defence 1987 Limited and after the completion of the unsuccessful defence of the Cup, was contracted by Bond Corporation to initiate the Endeavour Replica Project. He continued to manage the project until December 1990 when Bond Corporation decided it could no longer proceed.
At this stage, John and several members of the project staff continued to operate the project on a volunteer basis while seeking new support. The remaining funds were successfully raised and ENDEAVOUR was launched on 9th December 1993. The ship has been an outstanding success, proving herself both at sea and as an international standard exhibit in Australia and New Zealand. While managed by John she circumnavigated the globe, visiting 149 ports in Africa, Britain and the US.
John left the ENDEAVOUR in 1999 as his children were growing up and he wanted to spend more time at home. He subsequently took up the position as CEO of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce that allowed him to promote his home town of Fremantle
During his time at the Chamber, John worked with a group of like-minded sailors, together with the State and Federal governments, to bid and win the right to hold the ISAF World Sailing Championships This was the main selection event for the London 2012 Olympics. John resigned from the Fremantle Chamber to become the Event Director for these Championships that were acknowledged by the government and the sailing community as huge success. More recently, John has worked to bid and run the inaugaural Oceanic Kiteracing Championships. He has also taken on the role of Chair of the Duyfken Foundation that owns and operates the replica of the Duyfken, the ship that made the first recorded European landing on the Australian mainland in 1606. John has a keen interest in tourism and Chairs the Perth Regional Tourism Organisation.
1984 - Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his services to yachting and the La Medaille de la Ville de ParisĚ (√chelon Argent).
1994 - Ron Tough Gold Medal for services to Western Australian sailing and was Fremantle Citizen of the Year.
1999 - Member of the Golden Key National Honour Society
2000 - Australian Sports Medal.
2003 - Australian Centenary Medal
2008 - Inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame in New York
2011 -- Western Australian Citizen of the Year (Sport)
2012 - A second Ron Tough Medal and was appointed the BIWA Boatman of the Year.