Australian sailing and Olympics legend who played huge role in historic America’s Cup victory dies after lifetime of achievements saw him knighted by the Queen
- Sir James Hardy died on Thursday in Adelaide at the age of 90
- Hardy was a triple America’s Cup skipper and dual Australian Olympian
- Hardy was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II back in 1981
Triple America’s Cup skipper and dual Australian Olympian James Hardy has died in Adelaide, aged 90.
The well-known yachtsman, vintner and community leader passed away peacefully on Thursday.
A member of the America’s Cup Hall of Fame, Hardy helped set the tone for Australia’s momentous and nation-building victory in the famous race.
He skippered Australia’s America Cup challenges in 1970, 1974 and 1980 and was a key advisor for the iconic Australia II crew, led by John Bertrand, that ended the United States’s 132-year dominance in 1983.
‘Basically I was back-up skipper for Bertrand; and he did pinch a nerve in his neck and he was off the boat,’ Hardy said in a 2021 interview.
Sailing legend Sir James Hardy died on Thursday in Adelaide at the age of 90
‘I believe it was nine or 10 races.’
Known as ‘Gentleman Jim’, he was made an OBE in 1975 and knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1981 for services to yachting and the community.
He competed in consecutive Olympic Games, Tokyo 1964 and Mexico City 1968.
Hardy continued to sail competitively until late in life.
Outside of sailing, Hardy served as chairman of the family company that produced some of the nation’s most popular wine brands.
Outside of sailing, Hardy served as chairman of the famous wine producer
He started working for Hardys in 1953, working in a variety of roles, with the company releasing a sparkling wine range in his honour in the late 1980s.
He served on many boards and councils, including the Landcare Foundation.
He is survived by his wife Joan, brother David, sister Pamela, and sons David and Richard.
A private funeral will be held in Adelaide with a memorial service to follow at a later date.