In 1983 Australia II ended the New York Yacht Club’s unbeaten streak of successfully defending the America’s Cup for ___ years. The boat was designed by Ben Lexcen. Ben was earlier known by a completely different name. What was it? And why did he pick Ben?
Ben Lexcen is famous for the winged keel design applied to Australia II which, in 1983, became the first non-American yacht to win the prestigious America’s Cup in 132 years.
Ben was born with the name Robert Clyde Miller. Robert Miller teamed up with Alan Bond and built a boat building partnership named ‘Miller and Whitworth.’ When Robert left, the company kept his last name in its title. To avoid any confusion with his former company, he now wanted to change his name. So he asked a friend who worked for Reader’s Digest to find out the least-used surname within their membership. The result was “Lexcen.” And “Ben” was the name of his dog. So, Robert Miller continued his career in the sailing industry under a new name: Ben Lexcen.