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ON THIS DAY IN 1983…

40 years ago today Australia II won the America’s Cup off Newport, Rhode Island. This momentous occasion was the first time New York Yacht Club had been defeated in the America’s Cup.

Australia II about to cross the finish line (c) Paul Darling Collection
Australia II about to cross the finish line (c) Paul Darling Collection

The winning yacht Australia II was skippered by John Bertrand, with the American yacht Liberty skippered by Dennis Conner. It was an event which captured the world’s attention and all went down to the final seventh winner-takes-all race on 26th September 1983.

The race had it all, with tension throughout and an epic tacking duel, which included nearly 50 tacks before Australia II tacked on the layline to the finish, covering Liberty in to the finish line to take the win and taking the trophy, which New York Yacht Club had held since 1857, to Australia.