The crew plans to party like it's 1983

by:Simon King

From:The Australian

September 12, 201312:00AM

BOB Hawke, whose throwaway line 30 years ago captured the jubilation of a nation and nudged sporting excellence into a thing of sporting legend, won't be missing the party to mark the occasion.

The former prime minister will join skipper John Bertrand, syndicate chairman Alan Bond and the rest of the crew of Australia II in Sydney on September 26 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their victory in the America's Cup, sailing's most coveted trophy. (Incidentally, that one day date discrepancy with the news report below is ‘cause, of course, we’re 14 hours ahead of the Yanks - Steve)

The success of that unlikely band who came from behind to beat Dennis Conner's Liberty on the waters off Rhode Island -- and in doing so ended the longest winning streak in sporting history of 132 years -- was captured by Mr Hawke's line: "Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum."

Yachting Australia chief executive Phil Jones said: "It will be a unique occasion. They're all very much looking forward to it. There's lots of very positive moments in Australian sport; this is clearly one of them."

Original news report as published in NY Times







Published: September 27, 1983

PERTH, Australia, Tuesday, Sept. 27— An emotional Prime Minister Bob Hawke led Australians in jubilation early today following Australia II's victory over the United States yacht Liberty in the America's Cup race.

Mr. Hawke gave Australians an ''unofficial'' day off after Australia II swept aside Liberty, beating the Americans by 41 seconds.

''You might as well take the day off - we will all be a team of zombies anyhow,'' Mr. Hawke told a nationwide television audience who had watched the final race in live broadcasts beginning at 3 A.M.

''It's the Australia's Cup now. They've held it for too long. This is one of the greatest moments in Australia's sporting history,'' the Prime Minister said.

The Australians, some of whom pride themselves on being among the best beer drinkers in the world, discarded their everyday brew and popped corks out of a fast-dwindling stock of champagne.

In Perth, home of the Australia II team, people geared up to give the boat's crew a heroes' welcome. The return will be celebrated with a parade through Perth and its port of Fremantle and a reception and sail into Perth city.

The Royal Perth Yacht Club stayed open all night. More than 2,000 fans crammed the club's bars to watch the race on live large television screens.

The Age, Melbourne's morning paper, held up its final edition until a few minutes before 7 A.M. to banner the victory.

Hotel keepers sent out emergency calls to breweries as the bars filled in the beginning of what probably would be a daylong celebration.

** End of article