Darren Bundock




VSaW Berlin
Tuggerah Lakes Memorial Sailing Club

Darren Bundock has grown up with the will to succeed. Darren won his first State Title at the age 8 crewing for his father Graham at the inaugural Maricat 4.3 Sloop Rigged Championship in 1980. For the next 7 years Darren sailed with many experienced skippers and gain valuable knowledge and skills.

In 1987 Darren took over the helm of his own catamaran, a single handed 14ft Maricat and within 18 months, at the age of 16, he was dominating the Maricat class and won both the State and National Championships. The following year Darren went on to win the double handed Sloop rigged National Championship.

In 1989 Darren chased international competition by moving to the Hobie Cat class to compete in the Hobie 14 World Championship in Noumea, New Caledonia where he placed a creditable 15th in a highly competitive fleet of Hobie legends such as Hobie Alter Jr.. Darren went on to win the State and National Championships and finished 2nd in the Hobie 14 Turbo Nationals in the same year.

November 1990 saw Darren pursue his Olympic goal when he took over the helm of an International Tornado Catamaran for the first time, teaming up with former competitor Greg Hollier. Two months later they finished fourth at the 1990/91 Australian Championship in an experienced field of sailors made up of World Champions Mitch Booth and John Forbes, Multi-World Champion Gary Metcalfe and 1988 Olympic representative Brad Schafferius.

The next step was off to Europe to compete in the 1991 Pre-Olympics in Spain the French National Championship and the 1991 Tornado World Championship.

With the international experience gained in 1991 Darren and Greg returned home to win their first major regatta, the Go For Gold Ol ympic Classes Regatta in Melbourne. They also won the WA State Championship and then went on the finish 3rd in the 1992 Australian Championship and 22nd in the '92 World Championship.

1992-1994 saw Darren dominate in the Hobie Cat class again winning the 1993 Hobie 18 Australian Championship, both the Queensland and Victorian State Championships and the 1994 Hobie16 National Championship.

1993 was a break through with Darren cracking the top 10 at the Tornado World Championships with a well-deserved 9th place.

In 1994 Darren was selected to represent Australia in the inaugural international Yacht Racing Union World Championships in La Rochelle, France where he placed 8th overall.

January 1995 saw Darren teame up with Olympic Medalist John Forbes.  Their successes streamed rolled by winning both the Sail Sydney Regatta and the NSW State Titles. An outstanding result at the Pre-Olympics saw the pair place 4th. With Bundock clocking up his first Tornado International heat win on the second last day of racing.

At the 1996 World championships, Bundock and Forbes finished a brilliant third overall. Not only did Bundock get his first ever World Championship heat victory on the second day of racing but went on to win a further two more heats later in the championship. 

Darren was denied Olympic selection in 1996 after a  Supreme Court decision brought about by the Yachting Federation changing  Selection Criteria after the first of the two Olympic Selection Regattas had been completed.

August 1996 saw Darren undertake his toughest challenge and claim victory in the Hogs Breath Coral Sea Classic, a 1000km endurance race along QLDs east coast from the Gold Coast to Airlie Beach.

1997 saw Darren and John top the Australian Yachting circuit by defending their National title crown in Perth, winning the International Sail Melbourne, Go for Gold regatta and placing second in the Sail Sydney regatta. Darren scraped into the top 3 nations at the 1997 World Championship in Bermuda.

1998 started off with Darren  winning his third Australian Championship in a row. In September, Darren sailed away with the GOLD at the Sydney Harbour regatta, organized  as the first ever Olympic Test event.

In November Darren and John achieved their greatest feat to date winning both the South American Championship and the 1998 World Championship. They never looked back, winning the World Championship by an incredible 18 points from the defending champs Gaebler and Schwall from Germany with the 1996 Gold Medallists Leon & Ballester from Spain placing a distant third.

By the end of 1999 they had finished a four month European campaign and captured the Number 1 spot on the ISAF World Rankings after winning the Princess Sofia Trophy (Spain), the European Championship (Spain), Kiel Week (Germany) and placing 3rd in Hyeres and 4th at the World Championships in Denmark. 

By the end of January 2000 they were selected into the Olympic Team to represent Australia in their hometown Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Darren with long time crew mate John secured Olympic Silver with a day to spare.

By the end of 200 Darren had begun sailing full time and a 3 year winning streak had just begun, taking the next 3 World and 2 European Tornado Championships as well as the 2002 ISAF World Championships on the road to Athens. Undoubtably 2003 has been the highlight winning the European Championship, Pre Olympics, Princess Sofia, Volvo Champions Grand Prix, Round Texel and a third consecutive World Championships. The year was so outstanding that Darren and John were nominated for the ISAF World Sailor of the year.