A book by America’s Cup winning skipper John Bertrand borrowed from a Townsville library in 1987 has been returned after sailing around the world for 33 years.

The book, Born to Win, was shared among yachties as it travelled the globe before returning to Australian shores, according to Julie Zacchei from Townsville CityLibraries.

Ms Zacchei said the book was mailed back to the library by a woman who found it on board the Tasmanian yacht Roama.

“It has travelled for about 33 years to about every port in the world… people have read it, loved it, put little comments in it, and eventually has come back to us,” she said.

The inside cover of a 1985 edition of Bertrand, Born to Win which people have written inside.
The book was posted back to Townsville CityLibraries after being found aboard Tasmanian yacht Roama.(supplied: Townsville CityLibraries)

The book’s round-the-world journey appears to have been suggested by a reader in September 1987, who wrote on the inside cover that it should be passed to any westward-bound yachties.

The proposition also included a note to library staff indicating the return journey could take some time:

“To the Librarian, We are sorry that this book is a little overdue but we have all enjoyed reading it. Thanks.”

Looking at the notes left inside the cover, the book has travelled to locations including Kastellorizo Greece, Palha, Spain and Gothenburg, Sweden.

Around the world in 33 years

The inside cover of a book which has many people's reviews of the book written inside and locations the book has travelled to
Gibraltar, Greece, Sweden, Townsville: The inside cover of the book gives locations of where readers came across the book.(ABC North Queensland: Nathalie Fernbach)

Born to Win is Australia II skipper Bertrand’s account of Australia’s 1983 America’s Cup victory.

One of the many yachties to read the globe-trotting 1985 edition was Simon Adams, who wrote inside it in July 1989, while aboard the Roama.

“Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to get this book back to Townsville and Thuringowa Library Service.”

Mission completed.

The book’s water damaged and sightly mouldy condition means it can’t go back into library circulation, however staff are considering using it for a display.

“I think its story still continues and needs to be told,” Ms Zacchei said.

“There are certainly a lot of interested people who are looking at it and asking about it.

“I think it is a tale that we will be telling for many years to come.”

The original borrowers will be happy to hear that Townsville CityLibraries does not enforce late fees.

Inside cover of the book Bertrand Born To Win which has an invitation to pass the book to other yachties written on it
‘To the yachtie, Please pass this book onto a westbound yachtie. The idea being that it will eventually find its way around the world to its rightful owner; the Townsville Library.’(supplied: Townsville CityLibraries)

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