Search the Collection
Advanced Search
Image Not Available

Aluminium alloy tube of catamaran MISS NYLEX

Date: 1971
Dimensions:
Overall: 4250 x 460 mm
Medium: Aluminium alloy, plywood
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from the International C Class Catamaran Association of Australia
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Object Name: Tube
Object No: 00015133
Place Manufactured:Victoria

User Terms

    Description
    With a sandwich construction of terylene and epoxy resin laminate and an end grain of balsa core over spruce and western red cedar, surface finish of reaction lacquer epicraft, MISS NYLEX raced for the International Catamaran Challenge Trophy in 1972.

    The Challenge which began in 1960, was held every two years and was always run as a match race between two C-Class catamarans from competing nations, and became known as the Little America's Cup as it shared a similar format to the America's Cup series.

    In 1972 the 7.6 m long composite hulls were built in Victoria by Len Dobson. MISS NYLEX performed well in trials but it was considered too risky to use for the Little America's Cup challenge as there was no spare wing sail in case of an accident.
    HistoryMISS NYLEX raced for the International Catamaran Challenge Trophy which began in 1960 and was held every two years. QUEST II of Australia won the series in 1970, defeating a Danish holder of the trophy. The series was always run as a match race between two C-Class catamarans from competing nations, and became known as the Little America's Cup as it shared a similar format to the America's Cup series.

    For the 1972 series a syndicate was formed with sponsorship from the Nylex Corporation to design and build a new technology, solid wing-sailed craft. The designer was Roy Martin, and the syndicate included John Buzaglo, Roy Martin, Chris Wilson, Frank Strange and Leon Ward. Sponsored by the Nylex Corporation, it carried the name MISS NYLEX.

    The 7.6 m long composite hulls were built in Victoria by Len Dobson, and although MISS NYLEX performed well in trials, it was considered too risky to use as there was no spare wing sail in case of an accident. Instead the cup was defended by the more conventional QUEST III. In 1974, with a back-up wingsail in reserve, MISS NYLEX was chosen to defend the trophy, and defeated the New Zealand Challenger. MISS NYLEX was crewed by Bruce Proctor and Graeme Ainslie and the series was sailed off Sorrento on Port Phillip.

    Prior to this event it set a new Australian sailing speed record of 24 knots, and also beat the 18-foot skiffs on Sydney Harbour in a 'Cock-o-the-Harbour' speed race.

    For 1976 a set of new, stronger hulls were built by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation to the same shape as the original hulls made by Dobson. MISS NYLEX won the right to be defender, but in a series characterized by light winds, the Achilles’' heel of the wing sail at that time, the soft-sailed, super light American catamaran AQUARIUS won the series 5 to 4.

    The syndicate disbanded after that series, but the pioneering work was carried on by other Australian syndicates and the trophy was regained and defended by Australia in later series with wing-sailed craft. Meanwhile MISS NYLEX was used only occasionally sailing from the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron before it was dismantled and the parts became separated. In the mid 1980s some parts were rediscovered under a compost heap in a back yard. A search was then mounted which soon located the other items dispersed around Melbourne. Members of the original syndicate got together and along with Bob French restored the boat to its 1976 condition. In 1988 MISS NYLEX was donated by the C-Class Catamaran Association of Australia to the Australian National Maritime Museum to become part of the National Maritime Collection.
    Related People
    Designer: Roy Martin

    Discuss this Object

    Comments

    Please log in to add a comment.