When the NYYC lost the America’s Cup in 1983, they immediately formed a new syndicate to win back the Cup.
The next Cup Races were scheduled for 1987 in Fremantle, Australia. To mount the strongest challenge possible, the NYYC built 3 new 12 Meters, all named “America II” but each carrying a different sail number. These were US 42, 44 & 46.
US-42 was the first 12 Meter built and she was sailing by 1985. The NYYC sent her to Fremantle as trial boat. She was built to be easily modified which is how she got her nickname, “The LEGO boat” after the Danish building blocks. US-44 and US-46 arrived later in Fremantle.
In the actual America’s Cup Races, US-46 was selected as official team challenger. US 42 & 44 were the trial horses. America II led the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series in the early rounds but she stumbled near the end was the last boat eliminated before the Final Fout Round Robin. Stars & Stripes & from the United States, Kiwi Magic from New Zealand and French Kiss from France battled it out. Dennis Conner on Stars & Stripes won the Challenger series and went on to beat Australia 4-0 in the Cup Finals.
After the Cup was over, US-42 was converted to the fictional 12 Meter “Geronimo” which was the main yacht in the 1992 movie “Wind.” Carroll Ballard was the director and Francis Ford Coppola was the executive producer. The boat was skippered by the Cup veteran Peter Gilmour. The sailing in this movie is considered the best ever filmed, thanks to the winds of the Indian Ocean around Fremantle, Australia. The movie is loosely based on the unforgettable sailing of Dennis Conner who won back the America’s Cup for the United States.
One of the secret ingredients for the “movie win” was the “Whomper,” a huge masthead spinnaker with the face of the Indian chief Geronimo. This type of sail was never used in the real America’s Cup because it created too much stress for the mast and the back-stays. But if you look closely at US-42, you will still see where the special spinnaker halyard exit was welded into the very top of the mast. “Wind” which is the best sailing movie ever made is still offered as a DVD in various languages.
After the Manhattan Yacht Club purchased the US 46 “America II” in 2007, a group in Greenwich, CT restored the other America II US-42 and began using her for corporate events. Eventually, US 42 was offered for sale to our Foundation. The chance to acquire 2 identically matched 12 Meters is very rare. Our Foundation purchased US 42 in 2015 and we have been raising money to restore her. Now she will be launched in 2017, on the 30th Anniversary of the 1987 America’s Cup in Fremantle, Australia. Both US 42 & 46 will match race against each other in New York Harbor. Our team represents US 42 and we hope she wins!