Nation’s biggest party to commemorate historic Australia II win

  • WA celebrates 40 years since Australia II rewrote sporting history by winning the America’s Cup
  • State to recreate historic celebrations on Sunday 24 September
  • Free 1980s-themed concert and drone show taking place at Victoria Quay
  • Artists include Baby Animals, Hoodoo Gurus, Slim Jim & the FATTS, and Voyager

Western Australia will host the biggest party in the nation on Sunday 24 September 2023 to commemorate the historic America’s Cup win, 40 years on.

The major public event will feature a free concert and drone show at Victoria Quay, along with free entry to the WA Maritime Museum, where visitors can see the famous yachtAustralia IIand enjoy the specialAustralia II: 40 Years Onexhibition.

All Western Australians are encouraged to attend and join in the celebrations, which will include sailing-themed activities as well as food trucks.

The free concert will feature live artists, such as WA’s Eurovision sensations Voyager with a special performance of the Australia II team anthem ‘Down Under’, Perth’s Slim Jim & the FATTS, Baby Animals and Hoodoo Gurus.

The drone show – co-designed by 1983 winning crew members Skip Lissiman and John Longley, along with maritime historian Mike Lefroy – will light up the sky over Fremantle waters as the event finale.

To expand on the celebrations, across the long weekend the WA Maritime Museum, home ofAustralia II,will offer free entry from 23-26 September 2023.

The exhibition includes a brand-new film, shown on an eight-metre curved screen, featuring the victorious team revisiting memories of winning what critics maintained was an unwinnable race. Other highlights include ‘the Bob Hawke jacket’ with replicas for the public to try on, Boxing Kangaroo flags flown at Newport, Rhode Island, a replica of the America’s Cup, and other memorabilia. The WA Maritime Museum is open 9.30am-5.00pm daily.

As stated by Premier Roger Cook:

“The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport, and Australia’s historic underdog victory 40 years ago broke the longest sporting winning streak on record.

“Like many Western Australians, I stayed up almost all night with my family to watch the race and witness the incredible moment whenAustralia IIcrossed the finish line in dramatic fashion.

“The unforgettable celebrations that followed lifted the spirits of Australians and were backed up by Fremantle’s hosting of the 1987 America’s Cup, cementing its place on the international map.

“My Government is proud to help Western Australians commemorate this significant moment in the history of our State – this is a party you don’t want to miss.”

As stated by Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:

“It may be 40 years on from our monumental America’s Cup win, but many of us still remember

where we were – bursting with pride – as Australia II dramatically beat Liberty, and took away the trophy from the New York Yacht Club who had held it tight for 132 years.

“Thanks to the Cook Government, you can step back in time to the 1980s with a free music concert at Victoria Quay run by Mellen Events. Rock on to our very own home-grown talent -Voyager, Slim Jim & the FATTS, and Baby Animals plus the iconic Hoodoo Gurus.

“The concert finale will be a spectacular drone show over the water presented by Fremantle Biennale, co-designed by WA-based crew members John Longley and Skip Lissiman, and maritime historian Mike Lefroy.

“People can visit the WA Maritime Museum for free all day to see the yacht and its once-secret winged keel, along with a wonderful new exhibition including a 2023-produced film shown on an 8-metre screen. You can even try on a replica Bob Hawke jacket to take a selfie!”

Ministers office:6552 5400

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