I had never heard of the Americas Cup until I came to Australia. I first heard the names John Bertrand and Ben Lexcen when in Uni, colleagues joked about the winged keel – the legendary and at that time revolutionary secret weapon that saw Australia win it in 1983 for the every first time. Bob Hawke then said any boss who sacked an employee for not showing up for work that day is a bum. What a clever populist PM he was.
After that Americas Cup slowly faded into Aussie folklore and the country hasnt approached anywhere near passing interest. Certainly there has been negligible interest in the media in this competition with the oldest trophy in the world – the Auld Mug. Until now of course.
No doubt there would acres of column inches typed up to record all aspects of this most incredible of comebacks. How NZ managed to lose 7 matchpoints to lose after leading 8-1 is really the stuff of sporting legends. And it is a legend Aussies would love to dwell on. Other than celebrating a NZ no-win, it can also gloat about how Aussies made up the bulk of the crew which constitued Larry Ellinson winning vessel. Or maybe the modern day vehicle is less a vessel. The Oracle has been termed something test pilots would man. Not the traditional yacht associated with this competition. John Bertrand himself paid tribute to the modern day cutting edge catamaran which look like they are just flying across the surface of the seas off San Francisco bay.
I have near zero knowledge or interest in this sport for the rich. It is only in the context of competition which spruiked my interest. To come back from 8 races to 1 is probably akin to being 2 sets to love and trailing 1-5 in the third, only to crawl back and win 7-5 and the next two sets 6-0 6-0. Or maybe trail 0-4 at half time and scoring 5 in the last 5 minutes of regular time. By any measure it is a mind boggling comeback. The sort United thrives on. The sort that makes me watch sports on TV.
- Sailing triumph, the Boxing Kangaroo and the America’s Cup ! (roberthorvat30.wordpress.com)
- America’s Cup: History set to repeat itself (sbs.com.au)
- ‘Bugger’: US crush NZ in stunning sport comeback (3aw.com.au)
- A tale of three blazers, two t-shirts and one pocket – collecting America’s Cup apparel (anmm.wordpress.com)
- AUSTRALIA II, the winged keel and more (anmm.wordpress.com)
- The America’s cup 30 years on (anmm.wordpress.com)