Bond highlights Aussie part in Cup win

By Adrian Warren,

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    Alan Bond, who bankrolled the historic 1983 America’s Cup win, has marked the 30th anniversary of that victory by highlighting Australia’s role in the latest event.

    Syndicate owner Bond, skipper John Bertrand, most of his crew and and the prime minister at the time, Bob Hawke, were among the luminaries at a lunch in Sydney on Thursday to mark the anniversary.

    Just a few hours earlier in San Francisco, Oracle Team USA completed a successful defence and extraordinary comeback by beating Emirates New Zealand in the final race.

    Oracle came back from a seemingly irretrievable 8-1 deficit.

    The American boat was skippered by Australian James Spithill, and he had at least another half dozen Australian compatriots in his crew, including 2012 Olympic Laser gold medallist Tom Slingsby.

    The Australian contingent also included coach Darren Bundock and general manger Grant Simmer, who was a crew member aboard Australia II in 1983 and has now been a part of four America’s Cup wins.

    “Its no wonder they needed the expertise of Australia to retain that cup,” Bond said.

    “They got faster with the modifications they were making for the last race, it was a fantastic race for them.

    “But a lot of the credit should go to the Australians that sailed on that yacht this morning.”

    The fightback was reminiscent of the Australia II effort in which they came from 3-1 down to win 4-3.

    “When our backs are to the wall, and how we fight against seemingly impossible odds, its part of the DNA of this country,” Bertrand said.

    Hawke said he felt pride that “little Australia’ with a small technological base at the time had “out-techoed the bastards.”

    “I don’t think any prime minister before or since has even been more proud of leading this nation than on that moment,” Mr Hawke said.

    Bertrand said history might have provided a different ending, as a day after the final race, the bolt holding up the mainsail on Australia II exploded and the sail fell down.

    Crew member Rob Brown said the sailors aboard Australia II were motivated and highly confident, even before being addressed by master motivator and AFL legend Ron Barassi at a team dinner.

    “He turned and looked at all of us and just said ‘you’re ready’ and sat down,” Brown recalled.

    “That was his shortest speech ever.”

    Hawke was constantly reminded on Thursday of his famous comment after the final race that “any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum.”

    “I’m very proud of it in one way, but very disappointed that all the other many brilliant things I’ve said are never mentioned,” he joked.

    Bond said Men at Work’s iconic Australian song Down Under, which the syndicate appropriated as their theme, had a dual effect.

    “That music played a very good psychological affect of not only bonding our crew together, but actually frightening the opposition,” Bond said.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • September 27th 2013 @ 1:52am
      Mick said | September 27th 2013 @ 1:52am | ! Report

      Aussie are truly digging out of the barrel when trying to claim success. Times must be tough

    • September 27th 2013 @ 4:15am
      Cantab said | September 27th 2013 @ 4:15am | ! Report

      Idle chat from an ex-con

    • September 27th 2013 @ 7:53am
      Skirttheissue said | September 27th 2013 @ 7:53am | ! Report

      Oracle was built in NZ using a NZ invented computer programme, a NZer Sir Russell Coutts heading their campaign – Kiwis in Oracle Team USA :

      Brad Webb – Grinder – NZ
      Joe Spooner – Grinder – NZ
      Matt Mitchell – Grinder – NZ
      Matthew Mason – Grinder – NZ
      Johnathan MacBeth – Grinder – NZ
      Murray Jones – Trimmer/Tactics – NZ
      Kinley Fowler – Trimmer – NZ/Ireland/Australia
      Simon Daubney – Trimmer/Grinder – NZ
      Russell Coutts – CEO/Tactics – NZ
      Kevin Borrows – Aerodynamic Analyst/Project Manager – NZ
      Asim Khan – Performance Database Programmer and Director of IT – NZ
      Tim Smyth – Co-Construction Manager – NZ
      Mark Turner – Shore Team Manager – NZ

      Have to love the Aussie claim of their much needed ‘expertise to win’. 🙂
      America’s cup teams are multi-national and all crap aside, the win belongs to Team USA, not Team Australia.

    • September 27th 2013 @ 9:17am
      oikee said | September 27th 2013 @ 9:17am | ! Report

      Its no small fact that Australia and our Cats are world-class, as shown by the Brisbane cats, the London cats built in Brisbane, and the Queenstown Cats just bought by the Kiws for their lake tours.

      Catamarans are also built and used by our defence force and played a major role in the East Timor conflict, and made the Americans sit up and take notice when we stormed the area by boat, Catamaran, and took control.

      We are a huge country with city after city built on or near the sea. Of course our expertise in boats will be very high.

      Submarines, well that’s another story. Let’s just say our subs are like anchors, they sink to the bottom real good. hehe

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