America’s Cup-winning skipper John Bertrand has offered to help decorated sailor Tom Slingsby in his bid to get Australia contesting the famous event for the first time in more than 20 years.
America’s Cup winner John Bertrand wants to help Tom Slingsby’s bid to get a local boat up in 2021.
Bertrand guided Australia II to victory in 1983, breaking the United States’ monopoly of the competition.
Australia haven’t had a boat in the America’s Cup since 2000, although three of the 2017 entrants had Aussie skippers.
Slingsby, the 2010 world sailor of the year, 2012 Olympic men’s Laser gold medallist and two-time America’s Cup representative aboard Oracle Team USA, is keen to get an Australian boat up for the 2021 event in New Zealand.
“Tom Slingsby is endeavouring to pull it together. I’ve said to Tom, ‘I’ll help in any way I can’,” Bertrand told AAP on Friday.
“But it’s up to the people who are willing to underpin something like this to maybe 90 per cent of the total budget, so that’s always the challenge.
“The question is can the various people put the amount of money in that’s required to be competitive?
“There’s no question that the technology and the people are available.
“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 and his Australia II crew on Friday were among the initial inductees into the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame.
The intake also included Kay Cottee, the first female to sail unassisted, non-stop around the globe.
Paralympians Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch, who last year became the first Australian sailing team or crew to defend a gold medal at the Olympics or Paralympics, were also inducted.
Successful Olympians formed a significant part of the first group of inductees.
The contingent included Rolly Tasker, Australia’s first sailing world champion and first Olympic medallist.
Also inducted were Bill Northam, Peter O’Donnell and James Sargeant, who teamed up to win the nation’s first Olympic gold medal at the 1964 Games in Tokyo.
Jenny Armstrong and Belinda Stowell were the first Australian women to win an Olympic sailing gold medal.
Successful coach Victor Kovalenko was also inducted.
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