Having been born and raised in West Texas, I had never heard of the “America’s Cup”…..let alone know that it was a yacht race run every 4 years, and HEAVILY contested between the ocean-loving countries.
The current year race ended this past week, with New Zealand beating out the Italian challenger. Every time the race is run, Michael and I remember our “first” America’s Cup…….
In 1981 we moved to Canberra, Australia….a country that LOVES yacht racing!! In 1983, it was time for another contest, and our friends and my fellow employees were determined that we knew ALL about it.
It seems that the cup had previously only been won by the Americans and the trophy had been held in New York since 1851. Well this year, the Aussies were out for blood!!
As we moved into the final races between Australia and America, the smack talk ran rampant!! The two countries battled evenly with races being split between them.
Then it was time for the final race!!!
Since it was held in the US, we had to get up REALLY early to watch it, and Michael and I huddled around our little black and white TV loudly urging our American compatriates to sail faster and smarter than the Aussies. And they were!!!
The race was nearing the end and the US was ahead by several minutes so Michael and I felt comfortable leaving to shower and get ready for work…..ready to RUB THE WIN into everyone’s faces.
BUT, 45 minutes later we turned the TV back on to find that the Australian team had taken a wider tack than the Americans, caught some amazing wind and were now in the LEAD!! NOOOOOO!!
Yes, the Royal Perth Yacht Club had indeed won the America’s Cup and brought glory (and the cup) to Australia!!
Michael and I both knew that it was going to be a rough day at work so we fashioned black arm bands to wear in mourning and left for our offices.
I think that most of the office was already there to greet me when I walked in. They escorted me to my cubicle which was properly festooned with black crepe paper and a small black wreath was attached to my window!!
I ate crow for the rest of the day, although they did allow me to participate in the cake and champagne celebration!!
In 2006 (some 23 years later), I wanted to make a quilt for Aussie friends who loved sailing and I chose this fun design……
It reminds me of the great yachts, the wonderful Australian friends and the fun ribbing that took place…..
Well done New ZEALAND!!!!