The Man Who Won the Cup Away, Dead at 77

Alan Bond and Australia II's victory over the New York Yacht Club ended the longest winning streak in sports history.

Alan Bond, the flamboyant Australian businessman who funded the country's historic 1983 America's Cup victory before losing his fortune and his freedom, died on Friday.

The 77-year-old Bond had been in intensive care in a hospital in the city of Perth following a triple-bypass operation on Tuesday and never regained consciousness, according to his family.

"To a lot of people, dad was a larger than life character who started with nothing and did so much," his son Craig, one of three children, told reporters outside the hospital. "He really did experience the highs and lows of life."

Bond achieved international acclaim for helping to bankroll the winning yacht, Australia II, in its upset victory in the 1983 America's Cup, handing the New York Yacht Club its first ever loss in its 132-year history in the contest.

Alan Bond on board Australia 2 as it competes in the Round theIsland race of the Americas Cup Jubilee Regatta August 21, 2001 off the coast of Cowes Isle of Wight.