I have been trawling through lots of memories and memorabilia from my childhood, looking for items from a particular year for a book I am planning (more on that another time) and came across a poem I wrote in 193. Coincidentally, today marks the 4oth year of the event which inspired me to write the poem.
I was 15 when Australia II won the America’s Cup, very early in the morning of September 27 Australian time. – and I have a confession to make: while my poem shows just how excited I was by this feat, I actually slept though it. My mum tried to wake me to watch it on television, but, while I did wake up, I also decided against getting up – partly because I had got up for at least one other race in the preceding weeks and, most likely, the cancelled decider a few days earlier.
Of course when I DID get up, much later, it was too late and i was disappointed that I hadn’t made the effort. But I was still just as excited as, seemingly, the whole of Australia that ‘we’ had won the cup.
Anyway, here is the poem I wrote in honour of this event. Note especially that the boat and crew are ‘they’ to start with, but the closer they get to winning, the more I, apparently, was part of it and ‘we’ won. Story of my life when it comes to sport!
The great Australian hero:
The boat so highly praised –
Australia II who won the challenge,
And left the Americans dazed.
They left Perth filled with courage,
Determined they would win,
Needing to fill the yearning
They were feeling within.
They made it to the final round
By defeating the English crew,
Then began racing Liberty –
Hooray for Australia II!
After only four finals races
Us Aussies were down, three to one,
But still there was courage left
In the hearts of everyone.
We fought back, bravely, strongly
And levelled the score three to three,
And fear was beginning to spread
Among the crew of Liberty.
The final race grew closer,
The Atmosphere was great,
For all true-blue Australians
September 27 was the big date.
We proved that we could do it,
We beat the Americans well,
As Australia II crossed the line
American spirits fell.
Great joy spread throughout Australia –
The cup was finally won!
John Bertram and his crew were satisfied,
Their glorious deed was done.
(Sally Adam, 1983)
If you want to know more about the story behind the win, visit the post at the National Museum Website here