AUSTRALIA KA 5 was built Steve E.Ward Co., Cove Harbor, Western Australia for the America Cup Challenge ’77 Ltd. (Alan Bond), Yanchep Western Australia.
Designed by Ben Lexcen & Johan Valentijn.
February 1977 launched as the AUSTRALIA KA 5.
Displacement 29 tons, dim. 19.81 x 3.71 x 2.74m. (draught), length on waterline 13.71 m.
Sail area: 160 m².
AUSTRALIA (KA-5) is an Australian 12-metre-class America's Cup racing yacht that twice challenged unsuccessfully for the America's Cup in 1977 and 1980. Designed by Ben Lexcen in association with the Dutch designer Johan Valentijn for Alan Bond, Australia failed to win a single race against the 1977 defender, COURAGEOUS (US-26), but managed to win one race against the 1980 defender, FREEDOM (US-30). Australia resides in Sydney, Australia, and is currently located at the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club (SASC) in Mosman Bay, Sydney Harbour.
Design and Construction
AUSTRALIA was designed during 1976 by Ben Lexcen in association with the Dutch designer Johan Valentijn. Both men spent seven months experimenting with 1/9th scale models in the University of Delft test tank in the Netherlands.
AUSTRALIA is a conventional design and has been described as a "Courageous-style boat".It has v-shaped mid-ship sections, a low freeboard, large bustle and a low aft run finishing in a wide U-shaped transom. Its fore overhang is very narrow and round shaped in its lowest part. The cockpits are shallow, keel is thin and the ballast is placed very low. The elliptical mast is made in extruded aluminum. AUSTRALIA was approximately 1,500 kilograms (3,300 lb) lighter than COURAGEOUS and it was hoped that by lowering the freeboard and taking a penalty on length, AUSTRALIA would prove faster than the US boat.
AUSTRALIA was built by Steve Ward in Perth and launched in February 1977. AUSTRALIA then sailed in sea trials against Alan Bond's 1974 challenger, SOUTHERN CROSS (KA-4), off Yanchep in Western Australia. The older boat remained a trial horse for AUSTRALIA during the 1977 America's Cup series
1977 America's Cup challenge
For the 1977 America's Cup, AUSTRALIA went to Newport and raced against the 1970 Australian challenger, GRETEL II (KA-3), the Swedish entrant, SVERIGE (S-3), and the French challenger, FRANCE (F-1), led by Baron Bich. Eventually, AUSTRALIA won the right to challenge for the Cup by defeating SVERGE 4–0.
However AUSTRALIA lost to the US defender, CCOURAGEOUS, 4–0. Ben Lexcen, who initially stayed in Australia during the challenge, went to Newport an was disappointed to find that AUSTRALIA had a poor-quality mast from SOUTHERN CROSS and that AUSTRALIA's sails were flat, heavy and of poor quality. AUSTRALIA was never really competitive and COURAGEOUS won the series easily.
1980 America's Cup challenge
Initially, Alan Bond suggested dropping AUSTRALIA and designing a new boat for the 1980 series. Ben Lexcen, however, was convinced that AUSTRALIA's hull – with a few modifications – was a good design and that its performance would improve with a new rig and sails. The hull had its keel made sharper at the bottom, and the bustle was lowered slightly and made larger to help improve the steering.
AUSTRALIA’s competitors for challenging the Americans were: SVERIGE, back for a second time; FRANCE III (F-3), a new yacht for Baron Bich, and the British challenger LIONHEART (K-18). LIONHEART was a fast boat, partly because it was fitted with a ‘bendy' mast which hooked aft several feet at its tip giving it 10 per cent extra unmeasured sail area on its main sail. In light winds, that gave the British boat a strong advantage.
Seeing the British boat's speed, the AUSTRALIA camp decided to copy the mast. The ‘bendy' rig added to AUSTRALIA’s speed and it became a very competitive boat defeating the US defender FREEDOM (US-30) in the second race of the series. However, the late adoption of the ‘bendy' mast meant that AUSTRALIA’s crew were experimenting with the newly cut sails and lacked the necessary confidence in them to win. In any case, the ‘bendy' mast was only effective in light winds. In the final two races, the wind blew hard enough to cancel out whatever advantage it gave AUSTRALIA and FREEDOM won the series convincingly 4–1.
Following the 1980 challenge, AUSTRALIA was sold to the British "Victory" syndicate headed by Peter de Savary. Renamed ‘'TEMERAIRE, the boat became a trial-horse for VICTORY 82 (K-21) and VICTORY 83 (K-22) for the 1983 America's Cup that was ultimately won by AUSTRALIA II (KA-6)
In 1985, Australia returned to Sydney after being bought by Syd Fisher in 1985 to be the trail horse for Fisher's "East Australia America's Cup Defence" syndicate defender, STEAK AND KIDNEY (KA-14). Australia was eventually refitted as a charter boat in 2004 and was acquired by the Australia 12m Historic Trust in 2011
Today, Australia is located at the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club (SASC) in Mosman Bay, Sydney Harbour.
Dominica 1987 $3 sg1055, scott1017. (The yacht in the background carries a sail No but hard to read can she be the SVERIGE (S3)?)
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_(yacht) http://www.12mrclass.com/yacht-search/d ... 05360.html