Interview with Lesleigh Green – Australia II’s PR Guru

Lesleigh Green has enjoyed the most amazing career in journalism, TV production and public relations.

In the early 1980s, Lesleigh began managing the Bond Corporation’s growing media and public relations requirements.

After producing a prize-winning, high quality annual report-cum-corporate promotional booklet for Bond Corp in late 1982, Lesleigh came to the attention of Warren Jones, who was heading up the project to build a new yacht for Alan Bond’s fourth attempt to win yachting’s unwinnable prize: the America’s Cup.

In September 1983, Lesleigh was in Newport, Rhode Island when Australia II saw off all challengers and became The Challenger against the US yacht Liberty, sailed by Dennis Connor – and then famously won the Cup. Her job in Newport was managing the PR for Australia II. In a phrase, Lesleigh was ‘the woman behind the win’!

Our editor, Michael Barker was very luck to catch up with Lesleigh Green recently to make a podcast recalling just what it was like for her all those 40 years ago in Newport leading up to the win, the win itself, and the celebrations back home in Australia, especially in Fremantle and Perth, after the win.

This is a wonderful podcast you won’t want to miss as the America’s Cup 40 Years On celebrations take hold during September, at Freo’s famed Maritime Museum on Victoria Quay, where Australia II is cared for in all her glory.

To help get you in groove for Lesleigh’s story, here are some great pics that each tell their own story!

Credit Jim Bourg

This pic shows Lesleigh attempting to hold back the Newport media throng with her elbows (haha) on the day Australia II became The Challenger and the media were allowed onto Australia II’s dock for the presentation of the Louis Vuitton Cup to the winning skipper, John Bertrand.

Stephen Lirakis

Here is Lesleigh during the presentation of the America’s Cup on the balcony at Marble House, Newport, standing next to Alan Bond and watching the reaction of the media mass below the balcony as Alan Bond picked up the Cup and it came apart from its base, which had been added when the surface of the Cup itself could no longer handle the ever-growing number of winners inscribed on it. Everyone cracked up laughing when Skip Lissiman called out: “Alan, you’ve broken the Cup!” Lesleigh looked down to check the media reaction and the photographers and TV cameramen were all shooting like mad while the reporters were trying not to laugh. The Australia II mob was cracking up. By the way, don’t miss our great podcast with Skip Lissiman.

Credit Barbara Y E Pyle

Here’s Australia II takes the lead from Liberty on the last downwind leg of the last race, rounds the buoy ahead, and goes on to win the America’s Cup by 41 seconds, following a heart-stopping tacking duel with her rival.

Credit Jim Bourg

Australia II Day, 30 October 1983: Lesleigh Green in the Motorcade from Fremantle to Perth for members of the winning America’s Cup Team, followed by a concert on Langley Park attended by some 450,000 people, according to newspaper reports.

While you’re here –

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Here’s the PODCAST. Enjoy!