‘Untold – The Race of the Century’ Netflix

On Boxing Day, I along with every other man and their dog, took to the cliffs and vantage points around Sydney Harbour and the heads to see the start of the 2022 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. I’ve been around boats for many years and had seen the start on television on numerous occasions, but to witness first-hand the sight of the maxi yachts and ensuing flotilla of spectator yachts come through the heads and turn south to Hobart was quite amazing.

Although the front-runners tend to get most of the publicity, I loved the sight of the other 100 or so yachts of varying sizes that were also competing which demonstrated the huge support Australians have for the sport.

For some reason it took me back to 1983 when Allan Bond and John Bertrand grabbed the America’s Cup from the Americans, brought it back to Freemantle Yacht Club and made Prime Minister Bob Hawke famous for his celebratory line “I’ll tell you what, any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum ….”

September the 27th 1983 is the day when John Bertrand and his crew of ‘Australia 2’ defeated Dennis Connors’ crew on ‘Liberty’ … four races to three.  It catapulted designer Ben Lexcen’s ‘winged keel’ into Australian folk law, and it’s a day I and many other Australians will remember for ever.

Every time I think about that 1983 yacht race series, I always have a feeling of great pride in this country and what some of our people can do against what seems like unbeatable odds.  It really was the ultimate success story of the underdog.

I was reminded of the adversities the crew of Australia 2 had to face when I recently watched a new Netflix documentary titled ‘The Race of the Century’, which according to the trailer “tells the tale of the scrappy group of Australians who band together to dethrone the New York Yacht Club, and break the longest-running win streak in history— 132 years!— in the most prestigious sailing competition in the world.”

‘Untold – The Race of the Century’ Netflix

‘Race of the Century’ is a great insight into how ‘Australia 2’ pulled off such an amazing victory, and being told nearly 40 years after the fact, still makes me laugh at what they were able achieve, how they achieved it and what has happened to some of the integral characters over those years. If you get a chance, it’s certainly worth a watch.

If you’re inclined, and can’t get enough of the 83 America’s Cup, here are two other television documentaries that were produced, firstly ‘Aussie Assault 1983’, an Australian produced

feature documentary which premiered in Australian cinemas on Australia Day, January 26, 1984, only four months to the day, after Australia II had won the Americas Cup, on 27th September 1983.

‘Aussie Assault 1983’

The other is an ABC ‘Australian Story’ program that celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the win in 2013.

‘America’s Cup 1983 Full Story on Australian Story’ – ABC

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