A lot of you old old fucks from Down Under seemed to like our Toohey’s Beer commercial that we posted the other day. Here’s some good back story…
What a blast seeing that old “I feel like a Tooheys” TV commercial featuring Apollo and Ballyhoo.
Both yachts were owned back then by the late Jack Rooklyn, a well-known Sydney character (some might say scoundrel – his nickname was “Jack Crooklyn”).
Jack made his fortune from poker machines (you call them “slot machines”), supplied by the Bally company in the US, hence the yacht name Ballyhoo. There is little doubt that Bally was a Mafia-front operation, and Rooklyn was known to host some distinctly shady characters on pig-shooting visits from the US.
Jack wasn’t much of a sailor himself, but loved the fierce big-boat racing that was the Australian style back in the 1970s and 80s. His last boat – another Apollo – was an aluminium 83-footer designed by Ben Lexcen. I did two Sydney-Hobarts on that monster as a humble trimmer/grinder. It took four of us, head down on two linked coffee grinders, just to bring in the genoas. Brutal stuff.
…and we still drink a round of Tooheys beer on my boat after every race.
– Anarchist David.