‘It was just a yacht race, right?’
When I asked Tom Whidden to sit down and talk about the 1987 America’s Cup win in Fremantle I added that we would start the discussion with the loss in Newport in 1983 – and that was his seven-word reply. To be honest, with images of Ben Lexcen, Alan Bond, John Bertrand and Australia II swirling around my head, I was slightly wrong-footed at how quickly he’d summed up the historic loss. As he smiled back at me waiting for my next question, I think right then I had an inkling of just how mentally tough the Stars & Stripes tactician Thomas A Whidden really is.

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