vendredi 19 juin 2015

ALAN BOND "Bondy" (1938-2015) YACHTS


Self-made man, businessman magnate 
& yachting sponsor…

by © Chevalier-Taglang 2015


If there is one thing the world of yachting should keep one positive memory of Alan Bond – Bondy – it would be his fortitude to win the America’s Cup.
Australia II (1983, Ben Lexcen's design)
© François Chevalier 2015


In 1974, Alan Bond, on behalf of the Royal Perth Yacht Club, commissioned Bob Miller – Ben Lexcen – to design his first challenger, the twelve meter boat Southern Cross.

Alan Bond © Joe Greenberg
Prior to 1974 Alan Bond had raced successfully in all oceans on yachts such as Panamuna, Apollo and Apollo II, the latter designed by Miller. 
Bond first started making saying news in 1970 as owner & skipper
of the 18-meter sloop Apollo (1969 Bob Miller - Ben Lexcen - design)
© François Chevalier 2011
Apollo - Lines
© François Chevalier 2011

For his foray into the Cup, Bondy deployed major ressources. He repurchased Gretel (1962) and Gretel II (1970), then asked to Bob Miller to design a new Twelve. 

The challenger was first called Australis, then Avenger or Waltzing Mathilda; she was finally christened Southern Cross on January 12, 1974. 
Sail plan of Southern Cross (1974, Bob Miller/Ben Lexcen design)
© François Chevalier
Lines of Southern Cross 1974, Bob Miller/Ben Lexcen design)
© François Chevalier
After numerous tests against models of Gretel and Gretel II, Bob designed the final lines and John Bertrand drafted the rigging! The boat was built in aluminium at the Halvorsen, Morson & Growland yard at Terry Hills, NSW, and delivered by truck to Yanchep Sun City. 

Throughout the austral summer of 1973-74, the crews trained firstly off Perth with the two Gretel’s, in races between the 1972 Dragon Class Olymic Champion, John Cueno, and veteran Jim Hardy. 

They were then joined by Southern Cross. John Cueno was given the helm of the new boat and Jim Hardy steered Gretel II. Training continued between Gretel II and Cross off Newport. Finally, Jim Hardy became official skipper of Southern Cross.

Southern Cross won the challenger selection (defeating Baron Bich’s France) but was severly beatten by the defender of the America’s Cup 1974, Courageaous
 
Sail plan of Australia (1977, Ben Lexcen's design)
© François Chevalier


Lines of Australia, 1977 version.
© François Chevalier

After three unsucessful attempts, Southern Cross in 1974, Australia in 1977, again Australia (altered) in 1980, Alan Bond’s determination would pay… 
Sail plan of Australia, 1980 version...
© François Chevalier
Lines of Australia, 1980 version...
© François Chevalier

In 1983, Australia II, designed by Ben Lexcen (ex-Bob Miller), helmed by John Bertrand, won the Cup against Liberty
Sail plan of Australia II (1983, Ben Lexcen's design)
© François Chevalier
Lines of Australia II (1983, Ben Lexcen's design)
© François Chevalier



The legendary trophy gained new momentum.

By François Chevalier & Jacques Taglang

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