Stuart Zadel recounts the day Australians won the Auld Mug trophy from Liberty in Newport. Jump into the action!
The day was September 26, 1983 at 5:21PM. The day when Australians broke the longest winning streak in sports history (132 years). But not without putting up a huge fight.
Coming back from an incredible 3-1 down in the best-of-seven series, a gritty group of Australians were about to face the final, penultimate test. Pitted against Dennis Conner’s American 12 metre war machine, Liberty, the scrutiny of the world’s spotlight was upon them.
Dubbed as ‘The Race of the Century,’ the American and Australian teams didn’t know that they were on the verge of the greatest tacking duel in history.
In this final, epic race, Australia II (skippered by John Bertrand) rounded the final America’s Cup buoy to head up the last windward leg, just 21 seconds in front of the Americans.
No sooner had Liberty rounded the final mark that they discovered they couldn’t outrun Australia II in time. So they threw a tack, and straight away Australia II covers. Instantly comes another tack, and then another, a total of six more aggressive tack maneuvers. Each one matched and covered in quick succession by the Aussies.
Like two heavy-weight boxers in the ring standing toe-to-toe, going at it blow-for-blow, not to see who was the fastest or hit the hardest, but to see who could withstand the most pain and take the greatest battering. They exchanged punch-for-punch, tack-for-tack as they staggered ever closer to the finish.
Around some 24 tacks later, still in front, the Australians begin to get uptight. Bertrand’s concentration is strained, and the Americans’ experience is coming through. On into the 31st tack and the Australians begin to tire. The big red boat is coming for them and their lead has halved.
On into tack 41 and the men on Australia II have entered the ‘red zone’, sweat pouring from their bodies, muscles throbbing, heartbeats at maximum RPM, pressure mounting and on the verge of faltering…
When suddenly they start to “dedicate” each tack to one of the crew… in this last ditch struggle to hold their lead… and it takes them higher.
After a resounding dog fight, a never-before-experienced 47-tack onslaught – Conner is spent and slumps in his chair – and Australia II sails across the finish line and into history to win the America’s Cup.
What won the Aussies that final dramatic windward leg was not their offence, but their defence. It was their ability to cover the threats launched against them. It was their ability to protect their lead.
OFFENCE AND DEFENCE
In business and wealth generation, making money (offence) is one thing, but keeping it (defence) is a whole other matter. Just as in the story above, getting in the lead is one thing – staying there is another. Without a great defence, the best offence in the world is ultimately fruitless.
There are so many challenges and threats to your wealth and future right now. (way more than 47 – let me tell you)… And it’s time to get your defence in order. How you cover and protect what you have now will determine whether you win the race or not.
And just like Australia II had prepared themselves to win against the coming challenges, so can you. If you missed our recent 1-Day tour with Dominique Grubisa, don’t miss this month’s free gift.