2 Jan 2009

bertrand says Australia may return to AmCup soon

11:19 am on 2 January 2009

The skipper of the America's Cup-winning Australia II team says the continued absence of Australia from the competition is due to the massive budgets needed to compete.

But John Bertrand, who captained the team to a famous victory in the 1983 cup, says the global financial crisis could limit spending and allow the country to compete again.

When the list of challengers was announced last month for the 33rd edition of the America's Cup in 2010 or 2011 in Valencia, there was again no Australian team among the 19 potential contenders.

No Australian challenge has been mounted for the world's oldest sailing competition, which dates back to 1851, since 1995.

Bertrand says they won the America's Cup on a 5 million dollar budget, however before the financial meltdown some of the syndicates were spending close to 300 million dollars.

But Bertrand says the financial downturn could rein in spending and open the door for Australia to return to challenge for the America's Cup.