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America's Cup Winner

In 1983, the 12-meter sloop Australia II broke the longest-running winning streak in the history of sport.  She defeated the United States defender Liberty and took the America's Cup from the United States for the first time ever in the sport's history of 132 years.

Australia II's radically designed "winged keel" was perhaps the most decisive factor contributing to the spectacular victory.   It is somewhat shorter than a regular keel.  It's narrower where it leaves the hull, and long at the bottom.  For about half of its length on the bottom it has protrusions that stick out on each side.  The protrusions poke down at about 20 degrees.

The first of the seven America's Cup races took place on September 14, with the defender Liberty, Dennis Conner at the helm, defeating Australia II by a margin of 1 minute, 10 seconds.  Liberty took the second race with a lead of 1:33, but the third race was called because neither vessel finished within the 5-hour, 15-minute time limit.  When the race was called, Australia II was nearly 6 minutes ahead of Liberty.

The next day, Australia II won her first race by 3:14, a record margin in Cup competition.  The fourth race, which Conner is said to have sailed "perfectly," brought the series to 3-1 in favor of Liberty.

In race five, Australia II posted a commanding lead of 1:47, and in the sixth, she established a new record margin of 3:25!

In the seventh and last race, Liberty led until the fourth mark, when Australia II began to pull away.  On the last leg of the race, Conner tried to beat the Australians in a tacking duel—47 tacks in all—but the challengers nipped across the line in a time of 4 hours, 15 minutes, and 29 seconds-- 43 seconds ahead of Liberty.

Australia II was the first challenger to take the America's Cup.   Upon her return to home, Australia II was exhibited at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney.


This Australia II model features:

  • Scratch-built

  • Superior hollow hull construction (very important)

  • All wooden and metal parts

  • Marquetry wood base

 33" long x 15" tall x 7" wide.     $2,500  S & H is $90

For display case, please click here: Model Ship Display Case