Please select your home edition
Edition
Insun - AC Program

John Bertrand leads sporting legends to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week

by Rob Mundle on 8 May 2012
Spirit of the Maid - Audi Hamilton Island Race Week © Andrea Francolini / Audi http://www.afrancolini.com
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 at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August – but Bertrand will be the only one 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.’

The regatta caters for the full spectrum of keelboats – from non-spinnaker cruising yachts and sport boats through to Grand Prix level racers and high-performance multihulls.

Luxury carmaker, Audi, returns as the main partner of Hamilton Island Race Week in 2012. The German premium brand offers a range of high-end events on the island for yacht owners and guests to enjoy during the week.

All information relating to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012 is on the regatta website – www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au. The Notice of Race and Entry Form are also on the site.

Insun - AC ProgramNorth Technology - Southern SparsMackay Boats

Related Articles

Antigua Sailing Week - Old traditions new ways
Winning skippers on Day 1 of Antigua Sailing Week included Sir Richard Matthews taking part in 18yr old Jules Mitchell Winning skippers on the first day of Antigua Sailing Week included Sir Richard Matthews taking part in his 37th Antigua Sailing Week and 18 year old Jules Mitchell who has never skippered at the regatta before.
Posted today at 2:54 am
Composite engineering expertise propels Southern Spars into AC50 build
The Peter Blake skippered Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map The Peter Blake skippered Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map with her unequalled clean sweep of the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race. Composite spars weren't new at that stage, but the engineering was not well understood. Blake's second Round the World race was aboard Heath's Condor the first racing yacht to use a composite spar - which broke on the first leg of four in the race.
Posted today at 2:45 am
RC44 Sotogrande Cup - Chris Bake grabs victory from jaws of defeat
After two severe days, Sotogrande and the Andalucian coastline laid on perfect conditions for final day of competition After two severe days, Sotogrande and the Andalucian coastline laid on perfect conditions for the final day of competition at the RC44 Sotogrande Cup. Mountainous seas gave way to a short chop, torrential rain gave way to brilliant sunshine and a stiff but shifty 20 knot, westerly offshore wind, to provide the tacticians with some welcome head scratching.
Posted today at 1:52 am
A Few Rays - Go Faster!
How the right sunscreen can make the boat go faster How the right sunscreen can make the boat go faster A good sunscreen is a very necessary part of the sailor’s equipment. When the sunscreen works really well and the sailor using it can do a multi-day regatta without burning or distraction, then that is a piece of equipment worth having.
Posted on 30 Apr
World Cup Series Hyères – Kontides steals gold again
On the second day of live Medal Racing, it was the turn of the One and Two Person Dinghies to have their day. A colder, overcast day with a steady 8-12 knot breeze did nothing to dampen the spirits of the final few lucky World Cup Series medallists.
Posted on 30 Apr
FAST40+ Spring Regatta – Hitchhiker declared winner
Hosted by the RSYC, the wind gods blew too hard on the second day resulting in racing abandoned for the last day Stewart Whitehead’s Carkeek 40+ Rebellion tide on points with Hitchhiker but was second on count back.Tony Dickin's Jubilee was in impressive form, scoring three podium finishes to end the regatta just one point off the lead in third.
Posted on 30 Apr
Team Oman Air score big breeze win at Extreme Sailing Series
A resounding victory in the final race of the penultimate day kept Team Oman Air's dreams of second podium finish alive Phil Robertson's men proved uncatchable as they romped home to glory in the seventh and last outing of the day as Qingdao delivered a 20-knot breeze blasting through the city's stadium racecourse.
Posted on 30 Apr
Young guns firing in tricky penultimate day of Extreme Sailing Series
The British team, the youth wing of America's Cup challenger, went into the action at the bottom of the Act leaderboard Skipper Rob Bunce's team of talented under 24s enjoyed their most successful outing since joining the global Stadium Racing tour at the start of 2016, only missing the podium once in seven races on Fushan Bay.
Posted on 30 Apr
Nations' Cup – NZ wins again
52 boats from 13 Nations and a planet turned out for one of Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s most colourful events Competitors set out to find blue skies and a varied breeze of five to 10 knots with Race Officer Lucy Sutro sending racers on a three-loop harbour course between the Central Club buoy off of the Wan Chai Ferry terminal then to Shau Kei Wan(SKW) and back.
Posted on 30 Apr
Still all to play for in Act 2 as light airs curtail racing in Qingdao
The Extreme Sailing Series™ fleet will go into the second half of Act 2 in Qingdao split by just 12 points on day two. The Extreme Sailing Series™ fleet will go into the second half of Act 2 in Qingdao split by just 12 points after super-light winds prevented racing on day two.
Posted on 30 Apr