The following articles and Pictures are from the Rob Olgilvie Collection
Our Big Hope for the America's Cup by Bruce Stannard (The Sun)
THIS is Gretel II, the boat that came so close to winning the America's Cup in 1970 - the second-hand rose no one wanted in 1974, and the boat that may just win the cup in 1977.
GII may be seven years old, but she's no has-been.
After months of exhaustive trials on Sydney Harbour, even the most cynical armchair sailors concede this extraordinary boat has a magic quality - a rare combination of speed and grace that mark a great yacht.
In 1970, Gretel II became the first modern challenger to rock the 128-year-old cup on its pedestal in the New York Yacht Club when she won a race, came within an ace of winning another and was the victim of a sensational disqualification in a third.
Although she was then rated the fastest 12-metre yacht in the world, designer Alan Payne has now made her even faster by streamlining her wooden hull and giving her much more sail area than any of her rivals.
Her skipper, veteran international ocean racing helmsman Gordon Ingate, wants to retain the psychological ad-vantage of the under-dog.
But already cup defence camps on both the east and west coasts of America are talking about Gretel II as the boat to beat.
The most valuable guide so far to the boat's ability has come from Peter Cole, the quiet bearded, cigar smoking sailmaker who has been involved in each of Australia's five America's Cup bids.
He rates her "super competitive".
"I've never seen an America's Cup boat accelerate as fast as Gretel II," he said. "There's no doubt about it. We've got a really hot machine here."
Gretel II will be shipped from Sydney to New York on May 14 aboard the Farrell Lines containership Austral Endurance.
On the same ship will be the other Australian challenger, Australia, from the Sun City Yacht Club, just north of Perth.
Australia has sailed particularly fast in her Indian Ocean trials against the 1974 challenger Southern Cross.
The smart money is already starting to drift toward an all-Australian final in the challenge elimination races at the end of August.
The Australian yachts will face two other newly built challenge contenders -from France and Sweden.
All four will come together in Newport in July for what promises to be the toughest, most intensive build up to any 'challenge in the cup's history.
When the challenger is finally named - probably in the first week in September - the stage will be set for one of the world's great yachting duels.
The crew on Gretel II were:
Gordon Ingate (skipper)