12 metres in general

Sorry Steve. Did I misunderstand you? Never heard of KZ7 - Kiwi Magic?

Streuth Cobba - you’re gonna start a Trans-Tasman conflict :wink:

Designed by Davidson, Farr and Holland, Kiwi Magic was probably the fastest all-round 12 Metre ever built. Her 38-1 winning run in Freo was ended only when she met Dennis Conner’s Stars and Stripes in the Challenger finals - in very non-Freo conditions that did not suit her.

Here she is racing with other 12s in the US a couple of years ago (photo from the Scuttlebutt website).

Ah Hah got you there Muzza the Australian beat Dennis. Not sure what"freo" or “non freo” actually is?
Before I get into a discussion on 12 metres in general(which I wouldn’t mind) . I want to try to stay on “Thread” and not get into trouble with Wis.
What do you think of the Aussie 11 that Tranth is putting out, isn’t it a great looking boat?. This boat is capable of going really fast and I reckon it has the speed of a bulb keel boat and the looks of a Modern 12Metre combined. It got some form , for it has already won a series of races in competition a couple of months ago.


Already working on it.

You’re right Muzza. KZ-7 was (in my humble opinion!) the best all round 12 metre ever built.

Shes still winning races (now in the hands of America cubeds Bill Koch I think) and is hopefully going to be around for a long time yet. I’ve been searching for ages to try and get more pics of her. I’ve got some good photos of her twin sisters KZ3 & KZ5 and have used these as a basis for what will one day be a semi scale KZ-7 model.


And Muzza . As another class keeps modifying its old style boat, the performance of it is not rising that much , overall. If a boat was designed in 1960 a few things have happened with twelve metres in the 20 odd year since that time. And so did the model of Aussie 11 for the performance envelope has increased dramatically. Now I don’t want this boat to be compared with anything else for comparisons of this kind thing is superfulous.
Here we have got the chance to have a really special boat that is not like these pretty terrrible cheap models that some have plopped on wings on the keel , supposedly to cash in on the Winged giant killer, Aussie 11. The full sized 12 metres tried this in the America’s cup time to put wings on and it just can’t be done successfully, as they all proved. It needs more than a wing and a prayer to suceed.

Not sure that I’m following your thinking there Steve - but you are right - she’s certainly a fine looking model. I could get into (and would enjoy) and esoteric discussion of 12 metre design from the origins of the metre rule in 1906 onwards. But as you’ve said - this isn’t the thread for such a discussion.

By the way, “Freo” is just slang for Fremantle, and conditions during that Americas Cup summer were generally windy (The Fremantle Doctor is the name given to the regular afternoon breeze off the sea). KZ7 was optimised for those wind conditions, as her performance in the challenger series indicated. In the Challenger Finals - she didn’t blow. In the Cup itself - she did. It seems likely that had conditions been different - so would have the result. But that’s sailboat racing.

Tranth - after the IACC rule was drawn up, and 12 metres were no longer the AC class, the designers of KZ7 allowed her lines to be published. I beleive I have a copy stored away somewhere, and also have her on my long list of future modelling projects. I’ll dig them out sometime and scan them for you.

…enough trivia. Back to the Aussie II thread.

Thanks heaps Muzza

Id love to get a copy of those lines! Ive been searching for those for years!

…but yes, back on topic…

Tranth, what is the profile plan off? It sort of resembles bits of A2 but different somewhat?


Based on (as close as I can guess) KZ-5. I think she was a great boat. Not as famous as KZ-7 and most likely not as fast, but still a great boat. She was really quick and won the first race she competed in during the '86 twelve metre worlds

as far as i can tell kz7 was a fast 12 meter. but i wonder, freedom was very fast untill the fat man came along and wrecked her. i think she could ( i hate myself for this) beaten KA6. if that happend. would freedom be a match for KZ 7?.
just a discussion. no finger pionting, just an observation

I guess it is possible. KZ-7 was a good all rounder with a heavy air bias where as freedom was a light air boat so maybe in light winds with a top crew but, under most normal conditions my guess is no way no how.


Cougar says “i think [Freedom] could ( i hate myself for this) beaten KA6.”

Don’t hate yourself Cougar. Freedom was a fine boat. In his autobiography, Olin Stephens noted that he felt she could have been a better boat than Liberty. As the Liberty - Australia II finals in 1983 went right to the wire, it’s quite possible Freedom could have been in the hunt too.

As for KZ7 v Liberty, no comment. They were designed 7 years apart and for a different set of conditions. I don’t know whether they’ve ever come up against each other in the 12 metre events held in recent years.

While you blokes are scrutinizing the could be’s -would be’s 12s, you may think about Challenge 12, a top boat and Lexcon said it was the difference between A2 and challenge was only sails and fittings. For he did some magical things to that keel also. I just went back again and reread Bruce Stannard book on Ben Lexcon and his wing keel to be able to appreciate the work that went into the forgotten 12, Challenge 12’.

while we are all considering the best bits of these boats , that not only did Aussie11 have to beat Liberty( no mean feat)- but the lawyers. For that was another battle in it self. And as Cougar says, No pointing of the finger please.

Cougar , your opinion is very welcome, shipmate.


This I might say is not a complaint but I can’t keep track of all these 12 metre forums!

Freedom was in all probability faster than Aussie 2, and would have beat her probably because of this advantage. But DC had Valentijn screw up Freedom, and then had him design the new 12 instead of S & S, so he ended up losing. Freedom was faster than Liberty, but illegal because of her low freeboard. she had a grandfather clause that would protect her and make her legal because she had been built before the freeboard rule went into effect.
Valentijn moved Freedoms rudder and and altered some of the structural elements, which promptly nullified the grandfather clause. Challenge 12 was also generally faster than Aussie 2. Australia 2 was a very hard boat to get moving to hull speed. But Aussie 2 could turn faster than the others and if skippered properly would be able to get into a “groove” which would keep the boat moving.

12 Metre regatta results from 3 weeks ago at the Edgartown Yacht Club.


Thanks Muzza
I think its good to see USA back and sailing again. Thoses guys have spent some serious cash! I always really liked that boat, I think the twin rudder setup is pretty cool. Are there any pics of the regatta?

Well fella, one is to beleive that later designs are faster otherwise there is no point to it all.I personally don’t think that it is all in design either but a combination of many things that produce a ‘winning combination’. The Bond syndicate knew that they could win the America’s Cup…in (1980) soon in the future, when they beat the US in a certain race.

I was lucky in that I did spend some time with Lexcon when he was designing A2. Even if it was in the model sense. For his brain was working , working all through this period , looking for anything to increase speed in his boats. I particularly remember the R/C 10rater models that he liked to sail. One in particular had a round section (360deg) from the front of the hull to mid sections. He was looking at piercing waves instead of going over them . He was working on saving a second or two on the other competitor . And this boat had a fantail stern for someother idea he was working on.

One wonders what major surgery would do to any boat. To ask the question ; when does the boat actually not become the designers boat or how much cutting produces a new design. Now if freedom was right in the first place why touch it. You know shipmates, we could go around in circles ( like a 12 mtr start) on this. Just let me put something to you Coug. I have not sailed a boat whether full-size or model that could turn fast, yet been slow on getting to hull speed quickly. It just does not compute. Have you thought it may have something to do with length of keel? Or some other factor?

well steve
i think you might be on to something . aussie 2 was very fast to turn. but also being so fast to turn, she did not lose to much speed. that i think has to do with the keel. i was looking at some pictures of some 12s. and look at the side profile. it seems to me that ben was onto a very ( VERY) rough design of a fin and bulb. less drag meens more speed.
as for wrecking freedom. you would have to take that up with dc. as I still think they should have left freedom alone. and used it as a benchmark. liberty was not faster,spirit was defintly not faster. I cant remember the other boat. but you have got freedom that is a faster boat. and it could have defended. it should have defended.
challenege 12 was a good 12 and I have never forgoten that it was also a ben lexan design. but people come on. this boat did not even make it into the top 4
aussie 2, victory 83,azzura, and (I love this) Canada 1
freedom vs aussie 2 and we might still be talking about how the new york yacth club cheats lol

Hello Cougar, I’ve got a little bit of nostalgia/ history here about a Canadian Dr George Wilkins of Vancouver who built the crew for Canada 1. Did you know , this Dr George Wilkins represented Canada in the Mini- Ameria’s Cup in 1983 in Newport RI in EC12s? And, further that he was born in Perth, Western Australia.

While you are talking about Freedom , Australia (the first0ne) took a race+(was in front, when 2 nd race was called off) off Freedom. Now Challenge 12 was a darivitive of Aussie1