He is a two time Olympian in the Finn, attaining a Bronze Medal at the Montreal Olympics of 1976. Now often referred to simply as ‘The Great Man’, John Bertrand AO was the Skipper of Australia II when that crew wrestled away the Auld Mug from the New York Yacht Club after 132 years of dominance. Now the Boxing Kangaroo, and to a lesser extent the blue skirt worn by Australia II whenever she was hauled out, remain very much front and centre in the mind of the Captain. No doubt this is because of the scale of that crew’s achievements, but also because of the very nature of the person. Bertrand epitomises both the famous Aussie ‘Can Do’ attitude, and never-failing sense of humour. Time with Bertrand is to be cherished, and there are always absolute pearls of wisdom on offer too. One such example is how faced with enormous gravity at 3:1 down, the Captain implored his crew to remove everything from their minds and just look at one race at a time. And for three more races they did just that! Of course the Antipodeans are also known for owning a decent soupçon of brashness and desire to just get on with it. In olden times it might have been called larrikinism, whereas today it is given the more friendly term of fun loving. The tales of the Australia II crew running through the American squad, as they went about their morning run, are as entertaining as they are insightful. Bertrand is the Chairman of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, whose members are Australia’s sporting royalty and still very actively involved in his beloved Etchells. He won his first of two World Championships in this highly competitive class in 2010, and then his second in 2016. The former was raced in Ireland with Andrew Palfrey and Tom Slingsby as crew. John has always been keen to help bring athletes on, which is one of the reasons he is still so much involved in sport to this day, but in 2010 after winning the Etchells Worlds with John, Slingsby would then go on to win the World Laser Championships, and also be anointed the World Rolex Sailor of the Year.
|1||Etchells World Championship||Dublin, IRL||Etchells||2001|
|3||International 12 Metre World Championship (Grand Prix)||Cowes, Isle of Wight, GBR||12 Metre||2001|
|3||Open Etchells World Championships||Sydney, AUS||Etchells||2012|
|3||Montreal Olympic Games Sailing Competition||Kingston, CAN||Finn||1976|
|3||Finn World Championship (Gold Cup)||Brisbane, AUS||Finn||1976|
|4||Munich Olympic Games Sailing Competition||Kiel, GER||Finn||1972|
* C = SELECTION CONFIRMED TBC = SELECTION TO BE CONFIRMED