On 26 September 1983 Australia II wrested sport's oldest trophy from the Americans for the first time in 132 years
It would be propitious if Larry and Ernesto, who are due to meet today in informal and unscripted talks, were to reach an agreement and pull the America’s Cup back from the brink.
Because it is exactly 25 years since the Auld Mug was wrested from the Americans’ 132 year grasp by the upstart Aussies and their wing keeled Australia II, the boat backed by Alan Bond, designed by the visionary Ben Lexcen and skippered by the legendary John Bertrand. On 26 September 1983 history was made.
The Cup might be known as the world’s oldest sporting trophy but there were many occasions when it had been far from sporting. As was famously reported on one such occasion ‘Britain rules the waves, America waives the rules’.
Although the playing field has levelled since those days many argue, including Larry Ellison, that Ernesto Bertarelli created a favourable slant for the home side with the new protocol for the 33rd Cup and hence the whole matter has finished up in Court in New York.
My hope is that between these two the clock can be turned back and the same protocol that gave us arguably one of the best ever America’s Cups in 2007 can be reinstated. But I’m not holding my breath.