Alan Bond, the man who made the impossible possible by becoming the first non-American to win the America’s Cup back in 1983, has died.
He was a larger-than-life character who lived the highs and lows very much in the public eye.
Here are a few quotes which give an insight into Bondy.
On the winged keel which made Australia II fly across the water…
“They would have looked very foolish if they’d attempted to ban the yacht.” – ABC, April 2013
On the final race of the America’s Cup…
“I had this awful headache, which was the pressure of the event itself, and I went down below and put my head down and Ben was down there as well and he said ‘We’ve blown it’. I said ‘Well Ben, I’m just going to do a prayer – because it’s what we need right now, we need some help from outside’, which I did. I prayed.
“And we got this unbelievable little bit of breeze. I’m sure it probably would have come anyway but who knows – I don’t know. I wouldn’t like to… But we did get our private wind there.
“It was a miracle that we won it in some respects, because there was very little left in the yacht after the event. I mean, the next morning we took it out and put the main up and did one tack and the headboard of the main fell down – so one more tack by Dennis and we wouldn’t have won it.” – ABC, April 2013.
On his winning America’s Cup team…
“If I was ever going to war I would want that crew beside me in the trenches. They were a crew of champions that became a champion crew,” he said.
“They were under a lot of stress but they pulled it off. It was very much a psychological war at times.
“At the breakfast on the morning of the seventh and final race we all knew that history was on the line and I told the guys that they will be in yacht books for certain for what they had achieved so-far but if they want to be part of history they had to win.
“But we were all on tenterhooks in the support boat praying and watching the equipment. In many ways Dennis Conner (skipper of the US boat) should have won but lady luck smiled on us. It is still hard to imagine where that breeze came from that got us over the line.”
– News.com, September 2013
On buying Channel Nine off Kerry Packer for $1 billion…
“We arranged to meet in the Wentworth Hotel in the suite that I was over here staying in. And, er, when we first sat down, we said, ‘We’re either going to sell our stations to you for $400 million, or you’re going to sell your stations to us.’ And he said, ‘Well, I don’t really want to sell my stations.’ And I said, ‘Oh, is that right?’ So, anyway, after much discussion, Kerry thumped the table and said, ‘Listen, if you can pay me $1 billion, I’ll sell them to you, otherwise bugger off.’ And in those sort of tones, that was Kerry.” – Enough Rope
On his court proceedings…
“I don’t recall”
On his time in prison…
“I found that in prison that I had more time to read the Bible, I had more time to contemplate life, and more time to look upon my fellow man. I worked very hard during the period in there to help other people in the same situation. I think that even in the most dastardly people, there is a goodness there, and you’ve got to find that goodness.”
On getting back into business six years after being released from jail when he was convicted of fraud…
“I never lost faith in my ability to climb the mountain again.” – British high-society magazine Tatler
On how students at Bond University in Queensland, which he established, should tackle life…
In 2012 Bond told students at the university to take risks and “never, never give in”.
“In particular, never give (up on) the convictions of honour and good sense.
“I’ve been in business now for nearly 60 years and it goes like a flash.
“And the older you get, the faster it goes, unfortunately.”- The Courier-Mail, 2012
On how Australia should handle Chinese investment…
“We shouldn’t be afraid of China, even though they know we can’t defend it,” he said.
“The only thing we should be fearful of is giving them approval to buy too much of our resources and companies.
“That would be a real problem, because they could change the face of the prices of commodities that they would otherwise buy from us.” – The Courier-Mail, 2012
On recovering from the grief which followed the death of his second wife Diana Bliss, 57, whom he married in 1995…
“It’s a couple of months (ago) that the big shadow lifted, quite frankly.
“It’s (his marriage to Ms Bliss) a phase of my life that I hold very dear to me. I’m very fortunate in having a beautiful, loving wife and my best friend at the same time.
“So it was a great shock to me – we just couldn’t get her out of that dark space she was in.” – The Courier-Mail, 2012
On his life…
“I really believe you only regret the things you don’t do.”
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