Constellation 1964


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Constellation Half Hull by Abordage Expand

 America's Cup Defender, 1964. Sloop designed by Olin J. Stephens.

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Hand-crafted plank-on-frame wood hull with white topsides, red bottom paint .

Hull size: 60cm.

Board size: 75cm X 20cm

Half Hull SizeMedium (75cm X 20cm)
Size75 X 20cm

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Constellation 1964

Constellation 1964

The 1964 American selection trials took a dramatic turn. During the first half of the trials, Bill Luders' boat, American Eagle, dominated the other competitors. Not having built a new boat during the 1962 selection, Olins Stephens had difficulty in getting back into his stride and his new Twelve, Constellation, was unimpressive, although when he designed her, Olin believed that he was producing an improved version of Columbia. The drawings were made by Mario Tarabocchia.  The new Sparkman & Stephens Twelve however, showed glimmers of potential, but suffered from a chronic lack of organisation.

All of the tenacity and talent of the Stephens brother, Olin for the tactics and Rod for the tuning were needed, to remedy the situation. After a few tactful dismissals crew-wise, Constellation began to face up to American Eagle.

We could have been forgiven for thinking for a moment that the impossible was possible, without really believing in it, but no: Intrepid was not chosen to defend the Cup in 1974. But the venerable old wooden Twelve very nearly beat the new aluminium Twelve Meter to defend the Cup for the third time in succession ! But there was no miracle.

Courageous, the  new Sparkman & Stephens aluminium Twelve finally beat Intrepid, the old S & S wooden Twelve, considered to be the fastest of her era.

Dave Pedrick was closely involved with the design of the new candidate. Courageous only took shape after numerous tank tests. The line of the boat were less radical than those of Intrepid or Valiant: Courageous seemed more conventional in her design and nearer the lineage of Vim or Columbia. In fact, the new boat was a splendid compromise, with her full, soft lines, and she was still quite light.

In 1974, Courageous easily beat the Australian challenger Southern Cross. This was Olin Stephens’ fifth success in the Cup since 1958.


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