America's Cup history maker and former billionaire businessman Alan Bond is here at Skandia Life Cowes Week
Eighteen years after breaking the longest winning streak in sporting history, Bond is back. Alan Bond, that is. He has been racing on David Lowe’s Farr 52 Loco and is hoping to get onboard Kit Hobday’s Farr 52 Bear of Britain.
He is here primarily for the America’s Cup Jubilee, reunited at last with his greatest ever investment, the legendary 12-metre Australia II. “The whole atmosphere of the Jubilee will really bring it all back,” said Bond, “and did you know that even her battleflag was designed by me and the boxing kangaroo will be flying when I race on her (Australia II) during the UBS Around the Island Race on 21 August.”
Having established himself as an Australian folk hero, it all started to go wrong for Bondy. His boats, Australia III and IV, were bumped from the role of defender for the 1987 Cup by the Kookaburra syndicate and the Cup went back to America in the back pocket of Dennis Conner.
The slide steepened when allegations were made about the business activities of the Bond Corporation in the early 1980s. Investigations substantiated the claims and Bond was jailed for four years for defrauding AUS$1.2 billion.
His sentence ended in March last year after three-and-a-half years since when Bond has kept as low a profile as his name will allow. Now he’s here in Cowes to revisit the glory days of Newport 1983 when the men from the land down under brought hope to the sail racing world.