October 27, 1986 |
The Kookaburras have become their own best competition, and Alan Bond's boys are worried. Skipper Peter Gilmour switched boats with Iain Murray Sunday and sailed Kookaburra III to a six-second win over stablemate Kookaburra II in the America's Cup defender trials. The victory over the older of the golden-hulled yachts left Kookaburra III (7-1) in first place, ahead of Bond's Australia IV (6-2). Last Tuesday, Murray, aboard Kookaburra III, defeated Gilmour on Kookaburra II by two seconds.
February 4, 1987 |
The man who helped win the America's Cup for Australia is having no fun watching its departure. Ben Lexcen, the designer who hatched the idea for Australia II's winged keel, which turned the yachting world upside down in 1983, has looked on in pain as Kookaburra III has lost three consecutive races to Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes. Now, with Conner needing only one more win to reclaim the prize Lexcen worked a decade and a half to get, the designer wonders whether it was worth the effort.
January 30, 1987 |
The first time Australian yacht designer Ben Lexcen saw Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes, he hooted. "Bloody banana boat," chuckled Lexcen, who designed the winged-keel Australia II, III and IV. He suggested Conner hire Harry Belafonte as bowman so he could sing "Day-O" when they sailed. To anyone accustomed to traditional 12-meters and the America's Cup, Stars & Stripes is indeed funny-looking, with a turned-up bow and stern that give it its distinctive banana profile.
July 5, 1990
Troubled Australian financier Alan Bond has ended his 17-year association with yachting's America's Cup, saying he will not be involved in the 1992 challenge off San Diego. Bond, the first person to win the cup from the United States in 132 years when he took the trophy in 1983, said from London that his financial difficulties and a lack of adequate preparation time had contributed to his decision. Bond's companies have debts in excess of $4 billion.
October 17, 1986 |
The showdown between Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes and New Zealand's fiberglass 12-meter was postponed because of foul weather Thursday. It was raining, with winds of 30 knots and gusts up to 40 churning up the Indian Ocean course. Ten minutes before the scheduled clash between Conner's blue boat and the controversial, undefeated KZ7, the race committee called off the day's America's Cup trials.
December 5, 1987 |
Now that the San Diego Yacht Club and Sail America have accepted Michael Fay's New Zealand challenge for a 1988 America's Cup competition, it is probably appropriate to clarify some perceptions and misconceptions about this controversial scenario. America's Cup, according to the Deed of Gift, is a perpetual trophy to be won or lost in friendly competition between foreign nations. True.