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Half hull model of 12-metre yacht AUSTRALIA

Date: 1991
Dimensions:
Overall: 135 x 705 mm, 0.75 kg
Medium: Jelutong wood coated with sanding sealer, primer, automotive lacquer
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Models
Object Name: Half block model
Object No: 00015622
Place Manufactured:Sydney

User Terms

    Description
    This builder's half block model was made by Frank Allen after the 12-metre yacht, AUSTRALIA.
    SignificanceThis model is a record of the innovations in 12-metre yacht design during the late 1970s, when Australia produced a series of yachts as challengers to the America's Cup. AUSTRALIA was designed by Ben Lexcen and raced in the 1977 and 1980. It is a lasting tribute to the 12-metre class before it became outmoded in 1987 and, it represents an important episode in Australia's yacht building history.
    HistoryBen Lexcen (born Robert Miller) has a special place in yachting history as the designer of the yacht Australia II which first won the Americas Cup from the Americans in 1983. Lexcen was born on 19 March 1936 in Boggabri, New South Wales. From an early age, Lexcen took an interest in sailing and built his first boat as an apprentice in his early twenties.

    In the late 1950s, Norman Wright in Brisbane invited Lexcen to leave Sydney and join his boatyard, which had been in business since 1909. Lexcen remained there until 1961, when another friendship and partnership was formed with Craig Whitworth and the two won an inter-dominion championship in the Flying Dutchman class, after which both partners set up their own sail making business back in Sydney.

    In the early 1970s, Lexcen decided to set up his own business. By 1977, Lexcen had designed AUSTRALIA for the America's Cup. The campaigns in 1977 and 1980 were unsuccessful due to AUSTRALIA's inadequate rigging and sails, which was later described by Lexcen as 'a complete disaster. AUSTRALIA's sails were the worst sails in the world.'

    In 1983, Lexcen designed AUSTRALIA II, which went on to break the 126-year American dominance over the America's Cup. This win resulted in Lexcen being made a Member of the Order of Australia. He died suddenly in May 1988 of a heart attack.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: HALF BLOCK MODEL OF "AUSTRALIA"

    Web title: Half hull model of 12-metre yacht AUSTRALIA

    Related People
    Model Maker: Frank Allen

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