sail-world.com -- America's Cup: 1983 was the game breaker - New video - Updated
America's Cup: 1983 was the game breaker - New video - Updated
Wed, 14 Aug 2013
Maritime Productions presents the second of the trailers for its video library of America's Cup and other sailing video, available on a rent to view basis.
As Bob Fisher describes below, the 1983 America's Cup was a game breaker in every sense of the word.
Not only did Australia II break the longest winning streak in sports history, but their story became an inspiration for the Australian nation and the sailing world.
Their story came close to having the usual America's Cup ending, of running close - but being able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Instead a whole new crop of characters made their mark on sailing history, John Bertrand, Ben Lexcen, Alan Bond, Warren Jones, and the whole of the sailing and shore crews, as they took on the might and experience of the New York Yacht Club on their home waters.
Rated as one of the great events in Australian history, let alone sports history, this was an event that made a nation believe in itself.
Revisit the good times, to hear and see all the great moments and characters of the era - just rent the video.
You can see a free preview below, along with some of Paul Darling's great images from the victory and its aftermath.
Click here?nid=113142 to go to the Maritime Production's library, or on the banner at the bottom of this story.
When the gun on Black Knight fired to announce the finish of the race, pandemonium let loose in the spectator fleet.
Sirens, hooters, whistles and cheering were deafening while the relief aboard Australia II was marked by 11 men punching the air in triumph. The 41 seconds that elapsed before Liberty crossed seemed like eternity, probably more so to those aboard the red boat. The longest winning streak in international sport had come to an end - after 132 years of tenure by the New York Yacht Club, the cup was to go to Western Australia, to the Royal Perth Yacht Club.
Aboard Black Swan, Alan Bond and Ben Lexcen were delirious with joy. They soon motored to Australia II, jumping on board to join a crew that had changed the face of history. For Bond and Lexcen it was the end of a 12-year assault on the Holy Grail of yachting.
Back in Newport, Dennis Conner was left to face the press, in the Armory, alone. 'I was reminded of Robert Browning’s The Patriot, that poem which begins, ‘It was roses, roses all the way.’ For Browning’s Pathot the world was his oyster, ‘a year ago on this very day.’ For DC the period was three years, from those joyous scenes he enjoyed after Freedom had beaten Australia.
Browning’s Patriot was off to the scaffold; so much had popular opinion turned against him. DC might have been too, if only metaphorically, had the O & C [Old and Crusty] of the NYYC had their wish. One does feel that they could have rallied round their man somewhat when the chips were down
'At the press conference, Conner was red-eyed and on the edge of control. This man who seemed so emotionless, this man who wanted no excuse to lose spoke about his loss with difficulty, yet with dignity. 'Today, Australia II was just a better boat. And they beat us. And we have no excuses. So I’d like at this point to congratulate Alan Bond and Australia II on their superb effort over the summer. They proved that they were an outstanding boat, and today was their day'.
'He pressed on even as his voice began to lose its way. 'However, I’d like to point out that our guys did a great job of hanging in there in conditions that in the past have proven to be awfully good for Australia II, so I’m proud of them. And I’d like to thank all of you for your support over the summer.' He ended by saying America had nothing to be ashamed of.
Then Dennis Conner got up slowly and with his wife, Judy, disappeared into the Newport night:’
Maritime Production's exhaustive America’s Cup library includes the America3 Foundation Collection of 1992 and 1995 Louis Vuitton & America’s Cup, the exclusive collections of America’s Cup by John Biddle, The Cronkite Report, the Uhl Collection, the archives of the famed Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea, at Mystic, Connecticut, as well as films acquired and produced by America’s Cup aficionado Keating, for over 25 years.
All of this material is now available for the first time in full High Definition (HD), most transferred from the original 16mm and 35mm film to HD by Peter Jackson’s state-of-art Park Road post-production laboratory in Wellington, New Zealand. Park Road’s credits include the 'Lord Of The Rings' trilogy, 'The Hobbit', 'King Kong' and 'District 9'.
Much of this material is part of the huge private America’s Cup collection of Mr. William I. Koch, America’s Cup Hall of Famer, who successfully defended the Auld Mug in 1992 with his ground-breaking IACC yacht, America3. Mr. Koch is lending a part of that unique collection to America’s Cup Events Authority for display in the America’s Cup Park throughout the 2013 America’s Cup event in San Francisco.