Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week – Sporting legends ready for battle

by Rob Mundle on 8 May 2012
America’s Cup legend, John Bertrand, and his ‘Once were Worriers’ crew, including Ron Barassi, Dipper DiPierdomenico and Simon Crean, have chartered Bruce Absolon’s Spirit of the Maid for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012 © Andrea Francolini / Audi http://www.afrancolini.com
At the 2012 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, John Bertrand, the man who steered Australia II to its historic victory in the America’s Cup in 1983, will lead a crew that includes other Australian sporting legends and he will be the only one of the crew who knows how to sail.

Among his team will be two greats of Australian Rules football – Hall of Fame members Ron Barassi and ‘Dipper’ DiPierdomenico. Federal parliamentarian and Government Minister, Simon Crean, will also be in the line-up.

All members of the group, who refer to themselves as ‘Once were Worriers’, are aged in their 60s and 70s.

‘It’s all about having fun,’ Bertrand explained. ‘We are a group of 21 mates from around Australia who every couple of years go out and do something different, something out of the box. Several years ago we walked the Kokoda Track. We then rode mountain bikes 450 kilometres through the mountains of Mongolia. Last year it was white water rafting down the Snowy River.

‘This year the guys came to me and said they wanted to do a yacht race, and mentioned the Sydney to Hobart. My immediate response was 'no way', telling them that it was the equivalent of rank amateurs trying to start at the top of a sport. I then suggested Audi Hamilton Island Race Week was a far better alternative: they could enjoy warm weather racing, great parties and be tucked up in their beds each night. Not surprisingly, they liked that idea.’


There is an interesting link between Audi Hamilton Island Race Week and Australia II breaking the longest winning streak in international sport by winning the America’s Cup in 1983. Hamilton Island Race Week was established off the back of the euphoria that came with the incredible victory. Also, this year will be the 29th staging of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, and just a few weeks later, on September 26, it will be 29 years since Bertrand led his great team to that historic win which literally stopped the nation.

The ‘Once were Worriers’ team will charter Bruce Abolson’s Volvo 60, Spirit of the Maid, for Race Week, and, seeing Bertrand will have a team of non-sailors with him, Absolon and two of his regular crew will be aboard to support the skipper. They will compete in the Performance Racing Division.

Bertrand, who sampled Audi Hamilton Island Race Week briefly six years ago when he sailed for two days aboard Bob Oatley’s 66-footer, Wild Oats X, said he was looking forward to experiencing the complete sailing and social side of the event this year. He plans to have his novices at the island two days before the series starts on August 17 so they can learn the ropes aboard Spirit of the Maid.

‘My guys don’t even know the difference between a jib and a mainsail,’ said Bertrand, ‘but even so, Barassi is adamant that we are going to win. I told him I was equally adamant that we had two aims for Race Week: not to kill anyone, and survive the regatta – including the parties.’

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week website

Zhik Isotak Ocean 660x82Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82T Clewring One Design

Related Articles

52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week – Bouncing back on Day 1
Quantum Racing pretty much carried on from where they left off in Sardinia earlier this month, ferociously consistent Quantum Racing pretty much carried on from where they left off in Sardinia earlier this month, ferociously consistent and proving the value of every point gained on each race course. After their ninth and tenth places respectively at the Audi Settimana delle Bocche Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec and Takashi Okura’s Sled both bounced back with a strong opening day to the third regatta of the five
Posted on 25 Jul
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week – Races 1 and 2 images
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races one and two Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races one and two
Posted on 25 Jul
New challenges for Oman Air at halfway stage of Extreme Sailing Series
Race organisers have extended the race area on the River Elbe to cater for the higher speeds of the new foiling GC32s. Race organisers have extended the race area on the River Elbe to cater for the higher speeds of the new foiling GC32s but Oman Air skipper Morgan Larson says avoiding errors will still be the biggest challenge if they are to extend their overall lead with their third Act victory of the season.
Posted on 25 Jul
Rolex Swan Cup – A noble approach to sailing
Mention the Swan Cup to any sailor and the feelings evoked are common – great competition in an enviable environment Mention the Swan Cup to any sailor and the feelings evoked are common – great competition in an enviable environment, a prevailing spirit of fair play and an opportunity to sail yachts renowned for their grace, enduring appeal and rich heritage.
Posted on 25 Jul
Rolex Swan Cup – A noble approach to sailing
Mention the Swan Cup to any sailor and the feelings evoked are common – great competition in an enviable environment Mention the Swan Cup to any sailor and the feelings evoked are common – great competition in an enviable environment, a prevailing spirit of fair play and an opportunity to sail yachts renowned for their grace, enduring appeal and rich heritage.
Posted on 25 Jul
Comanche's Trans-Atlantic record attempt hits soft spot
Light air zones threaten record-breaking pace as 100ft yacht charges across mid-Atlantic With 1,548 nautical miles left to sail to the finish of the Transatlantic record (as of 08:30 GMT today) at Lizard Point, UK, Comanche remains on course to break Mari Cha IV’s 2003 record. Stan Honey, Comanche navigator, noted this morning: Chilly here. Set the A-3 Gennaker to go deeper. Very flat water. Smooth sailing. Not much wind down low near the cold water. Visibility 10meters.
Posted on 25 Jul
World of Sailing in review - July 2016 edition - Round the Island Race
World Sailing present their July 2016 video magazine featuring the Round the Island race World Sailing present their July 2016 video magazine featuring the Round the Island race (around the Isle of Wight) and preview several personalities and aspects of the upcoming Rio Olympics
Posted on 25 Jul
America’s Cup World Series – More final day images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from final day Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from final day
Posted on 25 Jul
America’s Cup World Series – Final race day images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from final day Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from final day
Posted on 25 Jul
PA Consulting and Allen RS Feva Worlds - Practice and opening day
164 boats completed registration and had their practice race just out of the harbour entrance in front of the city beach 2016 PA Consulting/Allen RS Feva World Championship - It’s officially Fiesta Week in Santander! Oh yes, in addition to the traditional massive fair and circus and two public holidays this week there is this year the RS Feva Worlds. 164 boats completed registration and had their practice race just out of the harbour entrance in front of the city beach.
Posted on 25 Jul