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Fremantle set to party like it’s the 80s

Published on September 5th, 2023

Before the America’s Cup defenders sought exorbitant hosting rights, there was a lasting love affair with the city and the event. While the Australians did not hold the trophy for long, they have not forgotten the joy of that time.

The fun for Fremantle will return for the 40th anniversary of Australia II’s famous America’s Cup win in 1983 on September 26 – and the changes that came to Fremantle four years later when the America’s Cup race was held down under.

From the center of Freo, to Fishing Boat Harbor and Victoria Quay, there will be a colorful array of activities leading up to and across the King’s Birthday Long Weekend, delivered by the City of Fremantle with the support of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

Rolling out from 13 September, the Cappuccino Strip will shimmer with 2.5 kilometres of green and gold bunting, and street pole wraps will give people a chance to uncover the changes that came to Fremantle with the Cup. Planter boxes will be decorated and themed banners and flags will line both sides of South Terrace.

The City’s historians will dig into the archives to present a display of America’s Cup photography and memorabilia in Walyalup Koort.

Local businesses are being encouraged to join the festivities with window displays and 80s-themed menu specials.

Fishing Boat Harbor, which played a significant role in the defense of the Cup in 1987, will be involved with some family-friendly activities, an al fresco bar and live music.

Best of all, there will be 1,000 free ice creams for kids from Fremantle’s many ice cream shops, delivered as part of a City of Fremantle activation.

The Australia II: 40 Years On exhibition opens at the WA Maritime Museum on September 9. There will be free entry to the Museum from Saturday 23 to Tuesday 26 September.

On September 24, the WA Government will be holding a free, all-age anniversary concert at Victoria Quay, culminating in a unique drone show produced by the Fremantle Biennale.

After the show, concert-goers are invited to enjoy the rest of their night in any of the bars and restaurants throughout Fremantle.

City of Fremantle Mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge said the 40th anniversary celebrations were an opportunity to reflect on the impact the America’s Cup had on the city.

“It is still one of the greatest moments in sport. Everyone of a certain age remembers the incredible excitement of the America’s Cup wins.

“After the euphoria of the 1983 victory, came a realization that the port city had to smarten itself up to host the world’s most glamorous yacht race.

“It had a major influence on the appearance and built form of Fremantle. Many of the heritage buildings received a facelift through projects that were fast-tracked. Up until recently, this period in the 80s was Fremantle’s biggest period of investment in revitalization.

“Hosting the race in 1987 put Fremantle on the map and formed part of our identity that still exists to this day,” Mayor Fitzhardinge said.

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Following the publication of the AC37 Protocol and AC75 Class Rule on November 17, 2021, the AC75 Class Rule and AC Technical Regulations were finalized on March 17, 2022. The entry period opened December 1, 2021 and runs until July 31, 2022, but late entries for the 37th America’s Cup may be accepted until May 31, 2023. The Defender was to announce the Match Venue on September 17, 2021 but postponed the venue reveal, confirming it would be Barcelona on March 30, 2022. The 37th America’s Cup begins October 12, 2024.

Teams revealed to challenge defender Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL):
INEOS Britannia (GBR)
Alinghi Red Bull Racing (SUI)
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team (ITA)
NYYC American Magic (USA)
Orient Express Racing Team (FRA)

2023-24 Preliminary Regattas
September 14-17, 2023 (AC40): Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain
November 30-December 3 (AC40): Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
August 2024 (AC75): Barcelona, Spain

2024 America’s Cup
September: Challenger Selection Series
October 12 – ?: 37th Match (Best of 13)

Additionally, 12 teams will compete in the 2024 Youth & Women’s America’s Cup.

Additional details:

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