Mike Board

Mike Board


    Agreement signed for Australia II to sail again

    26/01/2001 6:30 AM

    Western Australia may be represented by the world’s most famous 12m yacht - Australia II - at next year’s 150th anniversary of the America’s Cup.

    Arts Minister Mike Board today announced the signing of an agreement that paves the way for a syndicate of the yacht’s original crew, led by Warren Jones, to sail Australia II at the celebrations.

    The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy still contested in the world of sport and its anniversary will be celebrated at a regatta at Cowes in England in August.

    The charter agreement between the Western Australian Museum and the Challenge 2001 syndicate has been signed after extensive negotiations on issues such as risk and security management, insurance and conservation of the yacht on its return to Australia.

    Conditions in the agreement are designed to protect the famous WA-built yacht, an important part of WA’s maritime and sporting heritage.

    Mr Board said the proposal to allow the yacht to sail in the anniversary regatta would be a great opportunity to relive those historic moments when it won the America’s Cup.

    “While we have a great duty of care to preserve objects of such important cultural and social history, we also don’t want to be hiding our treasures or turning them into dusty icons,” he said.

    “It is sometimes important to recreate history and to make it live again. It reminds people of great events and of our social and cultural links. Australia II is famous because it won the America’s Cup - and it did that by sailing.

    “The regatta also will be an excellent opportunity for the museum to promote its extraordinary collection on the international stage, and raise awareness of WA as a tourist destination.”

    Australia II returned to WA in December after 10 years on display in the Australian National Maritime Museum.

    The public will have an opportunity to welcome the yacht back to WA this Sunday, January 28, with a street parade and public entertainment in Fremantle.

    Mr Board said the parade would start 10am at the Henderson Street Mall, near the corner of Essex Street and South Terrace.

    “Sunday’s event will provide a terrific opportunity for the public to welcome home Australia II in style - and also take a close-up look at one of this nation’s sporting icons,” he said.

    “It is most significant to have Australia II finally returned to the West, considering that the successful America’s Cup syndicate was formed here in Perth and the yacht was built here.

    “The WA Museum, through the Maritime Museum, has organised a fantastic event to mark the occasion and I urge as many people as possible to get down to Fremantle on Sunday morning and welcome Australia II home in true Aussie style.”

    The parade will move down South Terrace - along the cappuccino strip - to Phillimore Street, finishing next to the new Maritime Museum being constructed at Victoria Quay.

    Crew members from past America’s Cup challenges will take part, with members of the victorious 1983 team carrying the official replica of the America’s Cup that was presented to the Australia II syndicate.

    The Naval Reserve Cadets from TS Perth will form a guard of honour for the parade, while the Pipes and Drums of the Fremantle Sailing Club will provide music.

    At Victoria Quay, Australia II will be parked alongside A shed for the public to inspect. Official proceedings will start at 10.30am.

    Family activities will begin from 11am, including children’s activities, competitions and guided tours of the submarine Ovens. The Maritime Museum has opened B Shed (formerly the Historic Boats Museum) to the public and there will be marquee displays about the new Maritime Museum.

    Australia II will be the centrepiece of the new Maritime Museum, where it is planned to display the yacht in the context many regard as the defining moment of the 1983 America’s Cup - in the seventh race, where Australia II passed Liberty to win.

    The museum is due to open next year.

    Media contact: Tamatha Smith, 9222 9211
    • It is planned to display the yacht in the context that many regard as the ‘defining moment’ in the seventh race where it passed Liberty to win the Cup.

    Further media information:
    Dr Gary Morgan, Executive Director, Western Australian Museum on (08) 9427 2701; Graeme Henderson, Director, Western Australian Maritime Museum on (08) 9431 8477