Yes it was 30 years ago, and yes, most people are not into yacht racing. I am, so you just have to put up with me.1983 was a pivotal year for the worlds oldest sports trophy. For 131 years the Americas Cup had been bolted down to the floor of the New York Yacht Club.

1983 proved to be a problem. I didn’t get involved with the Americas Cup till the early 90’s, and maybe it was only then that I understood exactly what happened in 83.

It is a fascinating story. Did the Australian team cheat? Or did they just use a radical new design that kept the boat within the legal limits?

The story of 1983 has been told many times. I have even had the privilege of talking to some of the people involved. For the first time, the US found themselves facing an opponent that had technology that they did not possess.

The Australians had built a 12 meter class boat that fit the rules, but was very radical in design. Sure it was a bit on the delicate side, but it was damn fast. The game was not just played on the water, much of it was played on land. The Aussie boat looked like any other 12 Meter, but the Aussies made a point of hiding what was under the water, the keel. In many ways this was a psychological war rather than a boat race.

I know quite a bit about this story, but I have never seen it put so eloquently as this documentary.

Simon Barrett

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