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Year1982 June
Current Sail NumberKA 6
International RuleThird Rule AC
Current LocationPerth
Current CountryAU
DesignerBen Lexcen
BuilderSteve E. Ward & Co.
Length Overallm. 19.22
Waterline13.10 m.
Beam3.65 m.
Draught2.59 m.
Displacement21.8 t.
Sail Area171 sq.m.
Original OwnerAmerica's Cup Challenge '87 Ltd.
Original CountryAU
Original HomeportPerth
Original Sail NumberKA 6
Owner Details & History

Built according to the International Third Rule America's Cup

1982 - 1983 America?s Cup Challenge '83 Ltd. (Alan Bond) - name: Australia II - home port: Perth (Australia). She was the Challenger for the 25th Match for the America's Cup in 1983. Skippered by John Bertrand. Innovative winged keel design led to the first defeat of the New York Yacht Club in an America's Cup Match. In the longest Match to date, Australia II defeated Liberty (US 40) skippered by Dennis Conner by a score of 4-3. Lexcen aim was to design an innovative Twelve with reduced displacement and waterline length; the body would have been more fear without bustle or fence; with a reduced waterline the sail area could be mantained at the maximum; he also accepted a small penalty to have a beamy stearn, close to the water, granting a long waterline when the yacht was heeled. All this found a limitation in the lack of stability. Thanks to long tank tests, the solution was found by taking the lead from the inside of the hull and hanking it at the bottom as a bulb. The related vortex problems were solved by hiring Withcomb winglets from the aeronautical industry: the lead ballast wings took shape as a new idea in the hull designs. The tune up of this solution enabled also to cut away the keel at the hull, therefore reducing the wetted surface, and to add more lead in the bottom. The final result was a Twelve having towards a traditional design a waterline length reduced of 51 cm., a greater beam of 25 cm., a reduced draft of 10 cm. and a lower displacement of six tons. It must be remembered the importnt contribution given to the project by a young Johan Valentijn. With reference to all the controversies and furor over the winged keel, it is important to remember Olin Stephens, emerging from the privacy of his retirement in Vermont, to pronounce the winged keel concept a genuine and legitimate breakthrough in 12-metre design. He offered his personal congratulations to Ben Lexcen for having solved with his winged keel one of the truly vexed questions of the modern yachting design, that is control of the energy-sapping tip vortex.

1984 - 1987 America's Cup Defence '87 Ltd. (Alan Bond). Trial-horse to Australia III and Australia IV in 1986. She participated in the Twelve Metre World Championship in Fremantle in 1986 where she was second behind Australia III. <

1993 - 1995 National Museum of Australia, Canberra ACT. Since 1997 Western Australia Maritime Museum exhibit in Perth, WA (Australia). As an exception, Australia II has been relaunched just to enter in the 2001 America's Cup Jubilee in Cowes in August 2001.

America's Cup: 1983 25th America's Cup Challenge: Australia II (skipper John Bertrand) - Liberty (skipper Dennis Conner): 4-3 World Championships Results: 1986 in Perth: second 2001 in Cowes (America's Cup Jubilee): third in the Grand Prix division

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