The RORC rating office sized up a piece of floating history when they provided Australia II with an IRC certificate
Ben Lexcen’s wing-keeled wonder Australia II sent shockwaves through the sail racing world when she defeated Liberty 4-3 off Newport. The trophy for the oldest sporting challenge in the world left America for the first time in 132 years, ending the world’s longest winning streak.
After much fundraising down under, Australia II was taken from her new home, the Western Australian Maritime Museum, fitted with a new rig and a new suit of sails and shipped to Britain.
As part of her warm up for the America’s Cup Jubilee (ACJ), she will be taking part in Cowes Week, providing most of us with a spectacle we thought we would never see, and the measurement was essential for her participation.
The ACJ has given the RORC rating office cause to scratch their heads on many occasions recently. The measurement of the three-masted Adix produced the largest ever IRC rating at 64.5m (211.6ft).
But that wasn’t their most extraordinary challenge. The 1912-built, William Fife-designed International 15m Lady Anne produced an LOA of 22.9m (75ft) and a mast height of 31m (102ft). Her 16.1m (53ft) mainboom overhangs the stern by several feet. She will be racing her similarly stunning sistership Tuiga.