Where were you when Australia II won the America’s Cup on 26 Sept 1983?

Those of you in the members bar on Friday night would have enjoyed the terrific presentation by Greg Wallace celebrating the 40th anniversary of the America’s Cup win. The bar was decorated in green and gold thanks to the social club. The last few minutes of the last race were played, reminding everyone of the excitement at the time. Australia II skipper John Bertrand AO had provided a video wishing the club well and letting us know he was looking forward to joining the rest of the Australia II team in Perth for the anniversary celebrations over the weekend.
We’ll have another opportunity to commemorate the win at Opening Day on 7 October. In the meantime, we asked people the question “Where were you when Australia II won the America’s Cup?” and received some terrific responses. We’ll continue collecting your memories of the day ahead of Opening Day (see the online form at the end of the article to include your responses, which we’ll collate in time for Opening Day.
Wendy Luck (Past Commodore) – I remember everyone at the Yacht Club celebrating the next day – I recall lots of tired people there!
Greg Wallace (Chair of the Iceberger sub-committee) – I was in my first year at Monash University, I watched the race at home, went to uni so excited draped in the Australian flag, went to my first class – stats – then headed to the Notting Hill Hotel where I spent the day celebrating.
Glenn Ferguson (Senior Member) – I was watching race 7 but went to bed when the yanks got in front as I did not want watch us lose, but then I was woken up when Australia 2 passed the Yanks and I then got to watch the end of the race and the win.
Ade Djajamihardia (Social Member and Bayside Citizen of the Year) – – Ultimately, once the “end of race “finish line” air canons” went off in the early morning, it was just another day at school for me – except for people beeping their car horns in traffic on my walk to school, and people giving in to their insatiable urge to play the band “Men at Work” song “Downunder” at high volume in their car stereos on my walk to school.
Mandy Read (RBYC staff) – I was sitting in a rocking chair with my six month old son who was teething, so was awake for the whole thing.
Peter Ralph (Senior Member) – I was going for a run early morning in Toorak and a man stopped his car beside me In Malvern Road and screamed out Australia has just won The Americas Cup. I said WOW!!!!
Rod McKenna (Race Officer) – Sept. 1983 7:17 am, age 25, had been watching the race at home but had to be at work by 7:00 am. Drove to work (3/4 hr) arrived on time and started work. Heard all this noise coming from boss’s office down the hall, all watching the race on small portable tv. No more work for the rest of morning.
Neil Sargeant (GC Member) – I was a newly arrived pommie backpacker watching the race on a small TV in a St Kilda backpackers hostel with lots of empty beer cans in front of me 😉
Peter Coleman (GC Member) – I was in Alice Springs designing the fire system for Araluen Arts Centre. Laid on the floor and watched it on tv….beat that. After many years off from sailing it truly inspired me to get back into sailing. Within a month I bought my first Keelboat, a UFO34 – never stopped since, the Australia II team have a lot to answer for in my case.
Marnie Irving (Club Captain) – A lovely distraction whilst pacing the floor with an unsettled 5 week old baby in the middle of the night.
Jan Talacko (Senior Member)- A long time ago! But v clearly remember watching/celebrating during an all nighter in college at university
Niesje Hees (Commodore) – I was cruising, living on a boat with no TV and not much access to news generally. However, I remember hearing all about when arriving in San Diego, on our way down the coast to Mexico.
Peter Stubbings (Senior Member) – Two things stick in my mind. A couple of days before hand I was at the grand final watching Hawthorn thrash Essendon and during the game, the massive crowd at the ‘G’ started chanting ‘we’re with you, Australia 2’, and this was apparently broadcast to the Aussie 2 team in the USA, along with some kind words from the then PM Bob Hawke. On the day of the actual win, I was on the Swan street bridge in my car on the way to work. Early morning peak traffic but I can remember car horns blasting everywhere. I was beside myself with joy, tears streaming down my face. I had to pull over and stop.

Record your recollections of the day below – deadline 4 October. We’ll be compiling these responses in time for Opening Day.

Australia II