America’s Cup: Related by history

Published on November 16th, 2019

Tom Whidden (left) and Joop Slooff

Tom Whidden and Joop Slooff caught up recently in Flensburg, Germany, possibly reminiscing about the 1983 America’s Cup which saw the New York Yacht Club fail to win after having successfully defended the cup over a period of 132 years.

Whidden was tactician on the unsuccessful defender Liberty, skippered by Dennis Conner, while Slooff was a Dutch scientist involved in creating the famous wing keel of winning challenger Australia II, skippered by John Bertrand.

This was an era of the America’s Cup when boats needed to be designed by nationals of the competing club, and while the designer of record was Australian Ben Lexcen, NYYC believed there was assistance from abroad.

However, the Australians vehemently denied the claim, Australia II was certified for the event, and the rest is history… until Slooff later admitted his involvement.

Sail GP

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