SYDNEY (AP) America’s Cup-winning skipper John Bertrand has offered to help Tom Slingsby in his bid to get Australia into the prestigious sailing regatta for the first time in more than 20 years.
Bertrand guided Australia II to victory in 1983, breaking the United States’ 132-year monopoly of the competition. Australia hasn’t had a boat in the America’s Cup since 2000.
Slingsby, the 2012 Olympic men’s Laser gold medalist and two-time America’s Cup sailor aboard Oracle Team USA, is keen to get an Australian boat up for the 2021 challenger series in New Zealand, most likely off Auckland. Emirates Team New Zealand won the America’s Cup in June.
”Tom Slingsby is endeavoring to pull it together. I’ve said to Tom, `I’ll help in any way I can’,” Bertrand told Australian Associated Press on Friday. ”But it’s up to the people who are willing to underpin something like this to maybe 90 percent of the total budget, so that’s always the challenge.”
Bertrand says there is no doubt that Australia has the technology and sailors to make a successful challenge.
”But as we say in the hard-nosed world of the America’s Cup, `no cash, no splash’, so you’ve got to have the bucks to be able to play this game,” Bertrand said.
Bertrand and his Australia II crew on Friday were among the initial inductees into the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame.