Netflix’s ‘Untold: The Race of the Century’ focuses on the historic 1983 sailing competition for clinching the coveted America’s Cup, which had been seated in the New York Yacht Club for 132 years. The team went unbeaten for all these years and it looked like an impossible feat for anyone to even think about winning the cup. But John Bertrand knew that if anyone could do it, that if anyone could take it away from the Americans, it was him.
The Netflix documentary follows Bertrand and his team’s untiring efforts to work towards winning, something that tested them physically as well as psychologically. They were the ultimate underdogs who won hearts before they won the cup, and the credit for keeping his team in shape, mentally and physically, goes to John Bertrand. But that was a long time ago. If you are wondering what he is up to now, here’s what you should know about him.
Where is John Bertrand Today?
John Bertrand lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife, Rasa Bertrand. They have three children- a daughter Sunshine, and sons Lucas and Andre. He was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia in 2016, in recognition of his work in the field of sports and the mentoring of the younger generation. He serves as the Chairman of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame. He has previously served as the chairman of Swimming Australia and the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, which assists child victims of crime.
Bertrand also serves as the director of the John Bertrand Leadership Series, which is an invitation-only program that gives “the chance to meet brilliant Australian leaders and learn the secrets of their success.” He is also a life member of the American’s Cup Hall of Fame, the Royal Brighton Yacht Club in Melbourne, and the Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club. In between all this, Bertrand was diagnosed with an early stage of prostate cancer. Spending so much time in the sun has already resulted in ”little melanoma taken out, and a few bits.”
However, his perpetually positive attitude in the face of any challenge has kept his spirits up. It is this attitude that kept him going until he finally won America’s Cup. ‘Born to Win: A Lifelong Struggle to Capture America’s Cup’, authored by him and Patrick Robinson, detailing his decades-long journey to win the cup was published in 1985. After the historic ’83 win, which was recognized as “the greatest team performance in the 200 years of Australian sport,’ he returned to represent the country for the last time in ’95.
In his illustrious career, he has served as Chairman of Selectors for the Australian Olympic Sailing Team and was awarded an honorary degree by Victoria Univesity. Following the win of Australia II, he got into entrepreneurship, receiving help from the then-Australian Prime Minister, Bob Hawke. He founded Quokka Sports, which eventually sank, but that didn’t put a dent in him. He has since received the Australian Sports Medal, Centenary Medal, Melbournian of the Year, and was made a Monash University Vice Chancellor Professorial Fellow in 2014.
Apart from this, Bertrand has also become mindful of climate change. ”I can see the damage, great concern in environmental climate change, in what we’re seeing now because I see the basic weather conditions changing all around the world,” he said. He wishes that things change for the better, especially for the future of the next generation. In the meantime, he keeps himself busy with the responsibilities of several organizations that he has become involved with.
Recently, Bertrand also put up his South Yarra family home for sale, with an asking price of $7m-$7.7m. His life is full of change and he is ready to take things as they come. He describes himself as a person that “doesn’t have many regrets” and sees everything, good or bad, as an experience that continues to educate his future, which still looks dynamic and adventurous.