Australia II 1983


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 Australia II ( 1983 ), America's Cup Challenger, designed by  Ben Lexcen.

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Hand-crafted plank-on-frame wood hull , painted white with green and yellow cove stripe.

Hull size: 60cm.

Board size: 75cm X 20cm

Half Hull SizeMedium (75cm X 20cm)
Size75cm X 20 cm

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Australia II 1983

Australia II 1983

When he built the model of the schooner America in 1850, George Steers had no idea that he was entering the legend of the America’s Cup. When he designed the 12-Meter Australia in 1983, Ben Lexcen became a living legend in the history of yachting. From this point on, after Ben Lexcen, come what may, nothing will be the same again.

Ben Lexcen, the man who won the America’s Cup had upturned the approach to Twelve design, whilst many were they who thought the class outdated and obsolete, and this is where the genius of Ben Lexcen is the most fascinating, he dared. He dared to combine a conventional approach, tank testing, with an entirely avant-garde approach, computerized simulation and control, whilst leaving room for his intuition. He dared to re-designed a part  of a boat which everyone considered as complete as possible; the keel.

Finally, he dared to race Australia II. Audacity is still the trademark of Ben Lexcen, the man who won the Cup !

William Starling Burgess no doubt inherited his love of boats and sailing from his father as well as  his sharp analytical mind. He also acquired his precise and sensitive feeling for lines and forms from Nathanael Herreshoff, his “Uncle Nat”. But when the young Starling informed Herreshoff of his intention to become a naval architect, “the Wizard of Bristol” took umbrage.

When Mike Vanderbilt contacted him to build a new defender for the 1934 challenge, time was very short. No matter ! He started on the rough drafts of the plans at end of 1931 and Rainbow very nearly failed in the face of a faster challenger, Endeavour.

Starling Burgess came out of it quite well, Charles Nicholson even offering him the plans of his champion. His gesture was to prove quite unwise.


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