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UGLY DUCKLING racing in 2000 on Sydney Harbour

Ugly Duckling

Vessel Number: HV000361
Date: 1999
Designer: Andre Cornu
Vessel Dimensions: 4.72 m x 4.42 m x 1.68 m x 0.15 m, 0.12 tonnes (15.49 ft x 14.5 ft x 5.51 ft x 0.49 ft, 0.11 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
UGLY DUCKLING is a 470 class Olympic dinghy built in Germany in 1999. It was sailed by Australian pair Jenny Armstrong and Belinda Stowell who became the first Australian women to win a yachting Gold medal at an Olympic Games. The pair won the Womens 470 Class event at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. This was also the first of two Gold medals won by Australia in the 470 class at those games, the second was won by the men's team later on the same day. These victories marked a resurgence of Australian success in Olympic yachting.
DescriptionThe International 470 class was designed in 1963 by the Frenchman André Cornu. It is a fibreglass hull, 4.72 metres long, giving it the name 470. It is rigged with a main, jib and spinnaker, and has two crew, with the forward hand on trapeze. UGLY DUCKLING was built in 1999 for the Australian Olympic team by Zegelmayer Boats in Hamburg Germany, and fitted with Superspar spars and North sails, a combination of the best manfacturers available at this time.

The class was developed as a 'one-design' with identical hulls and rigs. There were strict controls over the manufacturing process and only a small number of builders around the world are licensed to build the hulls. However builders had latitude in many of the detailed specifications of materials and construction, and there was strong competition between them to produce the best hulls. Zegelmayer had been building racing dinghies since the mid 1980s and remain one of the premier builders for the 470 class. The only licensed Australian builder was Binks in SA who had stopped making 470s by the late 1970s.

Training under coach Victor Kovalenko, the Australian men and women's 470 crews performed consistently with many top three finishes in the lead up events to the games. Kovalneko was a Ukrainian sailor and coach who had previously coached the Danish 470 teams to Gold in 1992 and Bronze in 1996, and then accepted an offer to come to Australia and work with the Australian Yachting Federation. Australia has since become his adopted country, and in 2011 he is the head coach for the national team, and his enthusiasm and guidance is respected world wide.

Sailing on home waters of Sydney Harbour both crews showed the benefits of their training with excellent boat speed, boat handling and good tactics to place themselves toward the top throughout the series of races. Armstrong and Stowell went into the Olympic series with a 2nd placing overall in the world titles held shortly before. They won the first race, and maintained good placings to take the overall lead with three races remaining. The last race was held in a typical afternoon north-east sea breeze wind pattern. Armstrong and Stowell lead throughout and won the race and series comfortably. The men's team then sailed their race, and in a repeat performance Tom King and Mark Turnbull won the race and another Gold medal for Australia in convincing fashion.

The 470 became popular in Europe during the 1960s and in 1969 the class was awarded ISAF International Status. It has been an Olympic class since first featuring at the Montreal Olympics in 1976. Australia was quickly in the top ecehelon of the class when Ian Brown and Ian Ruff won a bronze medal at the 1976 Olympics. In 1988 the first Olympic women's sailing event was sailed in the 470 class, this was part of the first steps toward increasing the number of women competing at the Olympic Games. An Australian women's team has competed in the class from 1988 onwards. In 2000 tthe Australian men's team of King and Turnbull won the World Championships, Australia's first victory at that level. The 2000 Gold medals to both the Australian men's and women's teams gave Australia the number one position overal inthe 470 class rankings for the first time, a feat it repeated at the 2008 Beijing Olympics when both the men's and women's teams won Gold once again.
Vessel Details
Current status:non-floating
Deck layout:open/foredeck
Hull material and construction:fibreglassFRPGRP
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:planing
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:pivoting centreboardswing board
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Rig type:BermudanBermudianmarconi
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:carbon fibrecarbon

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