This weekend, Western Australia will celebrate the historic America’s Cup win, 40 years on. Ending the United States’ 131-year reign as the cup’s holder, a historic underdog moment saw Australia break the longest sporting winning streak on record. The remarkable coup in 1983 famously led then-prime minister Bob Hawke to make the iconic pronouncement to a bar of ecstatic patrons at the Royal Perth Yacht Club “I tell you what, any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum,”.
As the oldest trophy in international sport, The America’s Cup holds profound significance for many Western Australians, including TRUE NORTH’s Founding Director, Craig Howson who was one the builders involved in creating “North Star”, the tender for Canada’s competing boat.
In the lead-up to the 1987 America’s Cup in Fremantle, Howson struck up a friendship with members of the Canadian team as they prepared their vessel, aptly named ‘TRUE NORTH’ for the big event. The Canadian team called upon Howson to build a tender boat which he christened “North Star”. After the dust settled from the America’s Cup, Howson was left wondering what to do next; from here, the journey began towards the inception of the TRUE NORTH business that has over time, become one of Australia’s leading adventure cruises.
Reflecting on the historic moment, Howson wants to ensure there is ample attention and acknowledgement for Australia’s success and how this success has positively affected Western Australia’s tourism industry. He also notably attributes this significant event 40 years ago as the catalyst for building the TRUE NORTH business, which has evolved into one of Australia’s most prestigious adventure cruise businesses. His unwavering commitment to showcasing the best that Western Australia has to offer through adventure cruises also ultimately led to him being awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to tourism in Western Australia in 2016.
The America’s Cup, a symbol of triumph and unity, solidified WA’s position on the global sports stage while continuing to bring significant economic and tourism benefits. Beyond the immediate economic impact, the Cup served as a catalyst for marine technology and innovation, aligning with WA’s focus on driving advancements in the maritime sector. Fostering a sense of pride and unity among the local community, the Cup rallies behind a common cause and celebrates the state’s unique connection to the sea.
The 40th America’s Cup presents Western Australia with a unique opportunity to shine on a global platform, fostering a lasting legacy of innovation and enthusiasm for the sport of sailing.
From our Founding Director Craig and the broader TRUE NORTH team, we look forward to joining you all this Sunday, 24th September to celebrate across the state, commemorating this remarkable milestone.