Australia's fourth attempt to win the America's Cup -- one of the premier yachting trophies in the World -- will begin on 10 September.
Australia's fourth attempt to win the America's Cup -- one of the premier yachting trophies in the World -- will begin on 10 September. The United States has never lost the trophy, which is kept at the New York Yacht Club.
This time the challenge comes from a 34 year-old Australian millionaire, Alan Bond, and his yacht The Southern Cross. Bond has put four million dollars (about GBP 1.5 million) into the design and construction of the 12 metres (40 foot) craft. It is the first sloop of its size to be built of aluminium.
Whether all the money spent on it will make is faster than the Mariner, the Courageous, or the Intrepid -- the three prospective American defenders -- will not be known until September. The contestants then begin a best-of-seven series of races.
Before then, however, the Southern Cross has to win the right to challenge for the Cup by beating the French yacht, France, in August. Bond is quite confident that it will. "From all our tests, the Southern Cross is much faster than Gretel II (Australia's last challenger and Southern Cross's sparring boat)" said Bond at a news conference. "If Gretel II could beat France three years ago, then we'll annihilate her."
Bond issued his challenge to the New York Y.C. in September 1970. Since then a team of fifty to sixty men have worked doggedly to make the challenge succeed. A great deal of research has been conducted into nearly every detail of the boat, including sails and masts. Bond claims that everything has been tested a hundred times.
For the first time in the history of the cup, the Australians have asked for an independent committee outside the New York Y.C. to handle any protests that might arise. In 1970 the Gretel II was disqualified in one race for colliding with Intrepid, and a bitter controversy followed.
The first America's Cup Competition took place 123-years ago, and there have been 21 attempts to dislodge it from the New York Y.C Each one has failed. Besides the Australians, the challenges have come from the British, the French and the Canadians.
SYNOPSIS: In Newport Harbour off Rhode Island, in the United States, an Australian crew is preparing their yacht to challenge the New York yacht Club for the America's Cup. Their yacht is a twelve font sloop called The Southern Cross, and it has been paid for by a thirty-four year-old Australian millionaire, Alan Bond. He is confident that this time Australia will win.
He issued his challenge in September, nineteen seventy, and since then a team of between fifty and sixty men have worked hard to make the challenge succeed. Nearly every detail of the Southern Cross has been researched and tested many times. It's the first sloop of its size made of aluminium.
But before the Cup competition in September, the Southern Cross will have to beat the French yacht, France, in order to qualify as a challenger. Bond is sure his yacht will "annihilate" the France, and also win the Cup.