An America's Cup challenge in miniature is planned for Australia's champion Six Metre, Toogooloowoo.
This was announced yesterday, after the handsome 32-footer owned by John Taylor, of Palm Beach, had defeated Yeoman and Venger in the Northcote Cup title series.
"Toogie," designed by American Olin Stephens and a small sister of the 12-metre, Intrepid, is to challenge the North American champion, Maybe VII, skippered by Sonny Vynne, of San Francisco. Maybe VIII defeated 34 rivals to win her title.
The series of seven races between the American and the Australian boat, to be sailed next July-August, is to inaugurate a new world challenge series.
The races will be held on the semi-protected waters of San Francisco Bay, and will be organised by the influential St. Francis Yacht Club.
Six metre yachts, because of the restrictions that govern their construction and the rigid International Metre Rules, were once considered the aristocrats of class racing and in some quarters still are.
America has more than 40 Sixes, Sweden 15, and other countries are showing an interest in reviving them for international competition.
Taylor, who sailed as tactician and mainsheet hand during the Northcote Cup series last weekend, will step down from the crew for the challenge match against America.
"We want a really ace crew to represent Australia," he said. "Trevor Gowland, a magnificent all-rounder in any boat, who skippered my other six metre, Yeoman, in the Northcote Cup races, will take my place in Toogie.
"Jack Gale, one of the smartest for'ard hands in Australia and a great seaman, will replace his 17-year-old son Geoff Gale for the trip to America. "Young Geoff would be good enough to go but he'll be busy with his studies and won't be available.
"The usual helmsman, Len Esdaile, will be in charge and the other two hands in the boat will be Barry Kendall and David McGain.
"We have arranged to ship the yacht across to San Francisco in time to give us a month tuning her before the contest starts."
"The crew will fly over in late June by Qantas, which provides special facilities for tourists to the U.S.A.
"We expect a large "party of Australian supporters to fly over for the challenge. which will coincide with a series of local celebrations in San Francisco."
Yachting by Lou d'Alpuget