America’s Cup “Australia II”


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History: » Australia 2

Australia II, with an innovative winged keel, was designed by Ben Lexcen, built by Stephan Ward, owned by Alan Bond and helmed by John Bertrand. During the summer of 1983, as selection trials took place for the America’s Cup defence that autumn. The boat was fastened with a new innovative winged keel design which produced by Lexcen, although it was unclear whether the keel design was legal within the strict rules governing the 12-metre class.

Despite much controversy the keel was eventually confirmed legal,  which meant Bertrand had to train and refine his crew to race against the American’s at their best performance.

Australia II, bearing sail number KA6, represented the Royal Perth Yacht Club of Australia in its September 1983 challenge for the America’s Cup. The defender, the New York Yacht Club, had held the cup since 1851.

In the mid-1980s, Australia II was sent to the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, Australia for display. For the 150th anniversary of the America’s Cup, the boat was removed from the museum to the Isle of Wight, sailing with the original crew for several days of commemorative regattas.

The Australia since then has been displayed in Western Australian Maritime Museum.

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