Australian 12-metre-class America’s Cup challenge racing yacht that was launched in 1982 and won the 1983 America’s Cup for the Royal Perth Yacht Club.
Skippered by John Bertrand, she was the first successful Cup challenger, ending a 132-year tenure (with 26 successful defenses) by the New York Yacht Club.
Ben Lexcen designed Australia II, which was built by Steve Ward, owned by Alan Bond, and skippered by John Bertrand. The Australia II design by Lexcen had a shorter waterline length and a short chord winged keel.
Which provided the boat with a substantial benefit in maneuverability and heeling moment (lower ballast center of gravity). However, a significant disadvantage in turbulent seas. The boat also stayed pretty quickly. Despite the winged keel was a significant design advancement, and the New York Yacht Club questioned its legality. The New York Yacht Club questioned the legality of the keel design during the summer of 1983, as selection trials for the Cup defense that autumn were underway. The dispute was resolved in Australia II’s favor.
with sail number KA6, represented the Royal Perth Yacht Club of Australia in its America’s Cup attempt in September 1983. The New York Yacht Club had held the cup since 1851, dominating competitors and establishing the sport’s greatest winning streak.
Australia II came from behind to win four races to three. The triumph on September 26, 1983 was a watershed moment for Australia, not to mention the Royal Perth Yacht Club. Australia II was named ABC Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year in 1983, highlighting their accomplishment. John Bertrand (skipper), Will Baillieu, Colin Beashel, Rob Brown, Peter Costello, Damian Fewster, James Hardy (alternate helm), Ken Judge, Skip Lissiman, John Longley, Scott McAllister, Brian Richardson, Phil Smidmore, Grant Simmer, and Hugh Treharne were the crew of Australia II for the America’s Cup races.