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A year of firsts

As we countdown to the 35th America's Cup The Royal Gazette will bring you one fun fact a day about the boats, the sailors, the crew, or the history of this illustrious competition. There are now 25 days until the month-long sporting spectacle gets under way.

American teams have dominated the America's Cup since its inception in 1851, and were unbeaten in 132 years when Australia II, skippered by John Bertrand, finally ended that winning run at the 25th America's Cup.

As with most years there was controversy surrounding the 1983 race, with the New York Yacht Club, who were represented by Dennis Conner and Liberty, that Australia II's winged keel design was illegal.

Ultimately that allegation was rejected, and two boats that had dominated their respective series.

At first it seemed as if there would be little difference between the 25th America's Cup and all those that had gone before, with Liberty winning the first two races by more than a minute. Australia II bounced back and after six races the two crews were tied 3-3. It was the first time in the history of the America's Cup that a sixth race had been needed, and a seventh deciding race was to follow.

At this stage ESPN, then only in the fourth year of its existence, picked up the option to televise the final race off Newport, Rhode Island. With television pictures beamed around the world, Australia II did the unthinkable and won by 41 seconds, unseating the Americans for the first time.

Historic moment: the crew of Australia II celebrate their America's Cup win in 1983

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Published May 01, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated April 26, 2017 at 6:46 pm)

A year of firsts

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