40th anniversary of Australia’s America’s Cup win celebrated with podcast series

Sports Bizarre has celebrated the 40th anniversary of Australia winning the 1983 America’s Cup with a special podcast series.

On Monday, September 26, 1983, Australia II crossed the finish line in the deciding race of the America’s Cup, ending a 132-year winning streak.

The unexpected triumph became one of Australia’s greatest moments, uniting a nation after tough time economically and environmentally with newly elected Prime Minister Bob Hawke famously saying, “any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum.”

Sports Bizarre with Titus O’Reily and Mick Molloy will celebrate the 40th anniversary with a special series exploring the history and rare facts of the America’s Cup.

Mick Molloy said:

“Growing up, this victory loomed large over the country. It created the Boxing Kangaroo, made Men at Work’s ‘Down Under’ an anthem, and got everyone to call for a public holiday whenever Australia wins something. All great things.”

The series will examine the history of the America’s Cup and the 1983 race and includes:

  • Queen Victoria’s role in starting the race in 1851
  • James Gordon Bennett Jr, the newspaper tycoon who raced his horse and carriage naked around New York, while overseeing the race as Commodore of the New York Yacht Club
  • J. P. Morgan, the American financier who used his wealth and power to ensure the United States kept the cup
  • Sir Thomas Lipton, founder of Lipton’s tea and the man who would challenge five times for the cup, only to lose every attempt
  • The arrival of the Australians as challengers in 1962, with the backing of Sir Frank Packer
  • Alan Bond picking up the mantle and to launch four challenges that led to the 1983 triumph

The series will cover the build-up to the 1983 race, the appointment of John Bertrand AO as skipper, the rise of his nemesis Dennis Conner and Ben Lexcen’s design of the infamous winged keel and the Americans attempts to ban it in court.

Sports Bizarre covers the dramatic comeback from 3-1 down before the final race, a victory so big that Alan Bond said:

“This is Australia’s greatest victory since Gallipoli.”

Titus O’Reily said:

“With characters like JP Morgan, Sir Frank Packer, Sir Thomas Lipton, Alan Bond, Bob Hawke, Dennis Connor, Ben Lexcen and John Bertrand, this is a wild ride.”

“We want to tell the story of not only why this meant so much to the country in 1983, but why it is one of the greatest achievements in the history of world sport.”

Episode one is available now on LiSTNR with the series running throughout this month, culminating in a special episode on the 40th anniversary, Tuesday, 26 September, and hour-long interview with the winning skipper John Bertrand.

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