by Craig Heydon
Brendan Casey (AUS) competing in the Finn class - London Olympics 2012 Day 1
The Australian Sailing Team has announced that USA's John Bertrand has been named Finn class coach. Bertrand has also been named Queensland Sailing Performance Coach in a program managed by Australian Sailing and Queensland Academy of Sport in conjunction with Yachting Queensland.
Australian Sailing Performance Director Peter Conde made the announcement following Sail Melbourne, the opening round of the 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup.
Bertrand sailed for his native USA at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, winning silver after close competition with New Zealand’s Russell Coutts, who took gold. He won the Laser World Championships in 1976 and 1977 and the Finn Gold Cup in 1980. Now, at 56, he still races actively in Laser Masters events, including the 2010 World Championships where he finished third.
At the London 2012 Olympic Games in Weymouth, Bertrand coached Australia’s Finn Class sailor Brendon Casey.
'John has proven himself to be an outstanding coach and contributor to our Australian Sailing Team environment,' said Peter Conde. 'John is excited by the challenges of his dual roles and we believe he will play a key role in guiding some of our developing talent in Queensland and our most promising Finn sailors with an eye on Rio 2016 and beyond. Our Australian John Bertrand is part of our advisory establishment and chair of our Olympic Nomination Panel. We are very pleased to have two John Bertrand contributing to our team.'
'I'm really happy to work here in Australia on such an excellent program. The Olympic coaching team and management is world class and their commitment and team work is impressive,' Bertrand said. 'I welcome the opportunity to play a significant role in Queensland's high performance program for young sailors and to help Australia's Finn Olympic contenders perform to their full potential.
In addition to coaching Casey in 2012, Bertrand coached American Junior Finn sailor Luke Lawrence to first place at the 2010 Finn Silver Cup in San Francisco, followed by a second place junior finish at the 2010 European Championship. Bertrand coached American Laser sailor Brad Funk to three medal race finishes out of five international Grade 1 regattas and a second place finish at the USA Laser Class Olympic trials in October 2007. Bertrand provided management services for Anna Tunnicliffe’s 2008 Gold Medal winning Olympic campaign.
During his 30-year professional sailing career Bertrand sailed in the afterguards of three US America’s Cup contenders – Courageous, ¬ America II, and Stars and Stripes. He has also has played an active role in contemporary offshore one-design class racing.
Australian Sailing Team website