Historic yachts aim for Bundaberg visit

TWO of Australia's America's Cup 12m racing yachts are preparing to embark on a historic 1400 nautical mile voyage from Mackay to Sydney, with a stop in Bundaberg on the way.

The 1977 and 1980 America's Cup Challenger KA-5 Australia and 1987 America's Cup Contender KA-14 Steak n Kidney have spent the past 10 years languishing in the big boat graveyard at Airlie Beach.

The two racing treasures were acquired and rescued by the Australian 12m Historic Trust, a volunteer organisation whose charter is to acquire, restore and preserve Australia's 12m America's Cup racing history.

"We are all so proud to be custodians of these iconic Australian yachts," trust president Benjamin Morgan said.

"Both the KA-5 Australia and the KA-14 Steak n Kidney have such a rich and valued history. It's great to know they have been saved and are on their way home to Sydney where they can be enjoyed and appreciated."

KA-5 Australia tactician John Bertrand would later go on to skipper the KA-6 Australia II, a direct decedent of the KA-5, to win the America's Cup for Australia in 1983 and becoming the first nation other than the Americans to hold the cup.

"The 1400 nautical mile journey to Sydney will be challenging," Mr Morgan said.

A preliminary voyage plan has the two yachts leaving Mackay and then stopping at places such as Yeppoon, Gladstone, Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.

Supporters are invited to keep track of the voyage at www.australian12m.com, where port arrival and departure times will be published.



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