Fremantle is set to become awash with the nostalgia of the America's Cup defence during a 30-year celebration event at the WA Maritime Museum on May 27. Hosted by the National Hotel and part of the Fremantle Heritage Festival, the three-course gourmet dinner is a chance to journey back in time with a night of yachting fun and local history.
The one-off event, overlooking Fremantle Harbour, features several guest speakers including 1987 WA Premier Brian Burke, Australia II crew member and Bond team representative John Longley and Kookaburra III starting helmsman and tactician Peter Gilmour. Perth band Some Like it Yacht will provide the hits of 80s and an auction will raise money for the not-for-profit Duyfken Foundation.
The 1987 America's Cup was the 26th challenge for the trophy – but the first time in 132 years it had not been defended by the New York Yacht Club. Held in Gage Roads off Fremantle, American challenger Stars & Stripes 87, sailed by Dennis Conner, beat the Australian defender Kookaburra III, sailed by Iain Murray. It was the last time 12m-class yachts were used in the America's Cup.
The band Some Like It Yacht will be performing hits from the '80s.
Mr Longley described the America's Cup win in 1983 as "the wind shift that changed Fremantle". "The America's Cup defence started the party in Fremantle that, arguably, has never ended," he said. "It was truly amazing in that it focused the whole sailing world on our town for a number of years and established Fremantle as an international sailing venue."
Event organiser and National Hotel owner Karl Bullers said the celebration was a chance to be regaled with nautical adventures and daring deeds. "I am very excited to be presenting this momentous anniversary event," he said. "The America's Cup defence was an intense competition that changed Western Australia forever: I can't wait to hear some of the amazing stories from this legendary era."
The event starts 6pm and is strictly 18-plus. Dress code is formal with a nautical flair. Tickets are limited – for bookings, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 134 081. The WA Maritime Museum is at Victoria Quay, Fremantle.