The 1977 America’s Cup was done and dusted. Already plans for the 1980 cup were underway. Baron Bic built “France III”, designed by Johan Valentin. (who would co-design “Australia” with Ben Lexan for 1980)
Bic also owned “Intrepid”, which was being used as a trial horse against “France III.” In the summer of 1978 “Intrepid” had a host of skippers: Bill Ficker, Lowell North, Gerry Driscoll. “France III”also had a series of tryouts for skipper, including Bruno Trouble.
Gerry Driscoll arrived at an agreement with Baron Bic, who agreed to lease “Intrepid” to Gerry for the 1980 America’s Cup if he could find financing for the program.
1979, I was crew boss, downwind helmsman, and tactician. I was also responsible for maintenance of the boat; the actual work being carried out by the French shore crew.
In over 100 starts, we lost one. Gerry owned the starting line, and was the most consistent helmsman I ever sailed with, every tack was the same, which meant the crew could always have the same timing.
Many good stories came from this season, but no money was found for Intrepid’s comeback.