Sir Douglas Frank Hewson Packer, KBE, OStJ, was an Australian media proprietor who controlled Australian Consolidated Press and the Nine Network. He was a patriarch of the Packer family. Frank Packer was born in Kings Cross, in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales, to Ethel Maude Packer and Robert Clyde Packer, who started the family's association with the media as a journalist in New South Wales, his father, R. C. Packer, became editor of The Sunday Times and was a founder of Smith's Weekly and the Daily Guardian, published by Smith's Newspapers Ltd."A mischievous youngster and a poor student", Packer switched schools, attending Turramurra College, Abbotsholme College, Wahroonga Grammar School, Sydney Church of England Grammar School at various times. He did not sit for the Intermediate Certificate. In 1923, Packer became a cadet journalist on the Daily Guardian. Four years he was a director of the company. In 1933, Packer started The Australian Women's Weekly and transformed The Daily Telegraph into one of Australia's leading newspapers.
Packer inherited his media interests on his father's death in 1934. In 1936, he joined with Ted Theodore's Sydney Newspapers and Associated Newspapers to form Australian Consolidated Press, he was chairman of ACP from 1936 until 1974. When television was introduced to Australia in 1956, along with the other major newspaper publishers, became a significant television network shareholder under the federal government's "dual formula", which allowed each capital city to have two commercial networks and one ABC, he launched the first Australian station to broadcast a regular schedule, TCN in Sydney, which became the nucleus of the Nine Network. The Packer media empire was known for its conservative leanings, was a strong backer of long-serving Prime Minister Robert Menzies. Packer was a keen yachtsman, boxer and polo player, he was on the Australian Jockey Club's committee for 12 years and won the Caulfield Cup with his horse, Columnist. He was chairman of a syndicate that built the yachts Gretel and Gretel II to challenge for the America's Cup in 1962 and 1970.
In 1972, Sir Frank Packer sold The Daily Telegraph, to Rupert Murdoch. In 1992, journalist Max Walsh told the House of Representatives Select Committee on the Print Media that Frank Packer had exerted undue newsroom influence. "Sir Frank was knee-deep in editorial policy of the Telegraph", Walsh said. Frank Packer was married to Gretel Joyce Bullmore on 24 July 1934 at All Saints Anglican Church, Woollahra, he had two sons and Kerry, with his first wife, Gretel. Gretel Packer died in 1960. Packer married for the second time in June 1964 to Florence Adeline Vincent in London, she died in 2012. On 1 May 1974, Sir Frank Packer died of heart failure. On his death he passed his empire to Kerry, as he had fallen out with his elder son Clyde Packer in 1972, he was interred at the Packer family mausoleum at South Head Cemetery. Frank Packer was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the King's Birthday Honours of 1951, he was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1959, for services to journalism and the newspaper industry.
In the New Year's Honours of 1971 Sir Frank Packer was promoted within the Order of the British Empire to Knight Commander, for services to Australian and international yachting. Since 1980 the Frank Packer Plate has been conducted at Randwick Racecourse, he was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame in 1999. In the 1984 television miniseries Bodyline, Frank Packer, as employer of Donald Bradman, released him from a writing contract so he could play in the 1932-1933 Ashes. In the 2007 television bio-pic The King about comedian Graham Kennedy, Frank Packer was portrayed by Australian actor Leo Taylor. In the 2011 television miniseries Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo, Frank Packer was portrayed by Australian actor Tony Barry. In the 2013 television miniseries Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch War, Frank Packer was played by Australian actor Lachy Hulme, who had portrayed Kerry Packer in Howzat! Kerry Packer's War the previous year. Whitington, R. S.. Sir Frank – The Frank Packer Story. Cassell Australia.
ISBN 0-3049-3997-8. Griffen-Foley, Bridget. Sir Frank Packer: The Young Master. Harper Collins. ISBN 0-7322-6422-7
1962 America's Cup
The 1962 America's Cup, the second to be sailed in 12-metre yachts, marked the first challenge for the Cup from a country other than Great Britain or Canada, was the first challenge from a country in the southern hemisphere. An Australian syndicate headed by Sir Frank Packer, representing the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, challenged with their yacht Gretel. Although the New York Yacht Club won the regatta four races to one represented by the yacht Weatherly, the challenger, Gretel won the second race, beating the Americans for the first time since the 1930s, only lost the fourth race by twenty-six seconds; the NYYC was so shocked at the closeness of the contest that they changed the rules to ban the use of American design and technology by Cup challengers. The NYYC ran a regatta to determine the yacht. Competing were Weatherly, with Emil Mosbacher, Jr. at the helm, Columbia, skippered by Paul V. Shields, Nefertiti, helmed by sailmaker and naval architect Ted Hood. Weatherly was chosen as the defender.
Weatherly was designed by Philip Rhodes, built by Luders Marine Construction Company at Stamford, Connecticut, USA, owned by a syndicate headed by Henry D. Mercer, Cornelius Walsh, Arnold D. Frese; the boat had performed poorly. For the 1962 trials, Weatherly was extensively modified by shortening the bow, reducing the wetted surface area, reducing weight wherever possible and moving the weight saved to increase the weight of the keel. Gretel was the first Australian 12-meter, she was designed by Alan Payne, built at Lars Halvorsen Sons Pty. Ltd. and owned by a syndicate headed by Sir Frank Packer plus Richard Dickson, William H. Northam, William G. Walkley, Noel Foley, she was helmed by Jock Sturrock. The Gretel's Brush with the Cuban Missile Crisis at History in Pieces Weatherly article at AC-Cyclopaedia Gretel article at AC-Cyclopaedia 1962 America's Cup at World Sailing
Volunteer was an American racing yacht built in 1887 for the America's Cup races. She was the victorious American defender of the seventh America's Cup match that same year against Scottish challenger Thistle. Volunteer, a centerboard compromise sloop, was designed by Edward Burgess and built by Pusey & Jones Shipbuilding Company at Wilmington, Delaware in 1887 for owner General Charles J. Paine of the New York Yacht Club. Volunteer was the first America's Cup yacht with an hull, her deck was made of white pine. Volunteer beat the 1886 America's Cup defender Mayflower during the defender trials for the 1887 America's Cup and won both Cup races on September 27 and 30, 1887, against Thistle. Volunteer was skippered by Captain Hank Haff with the assistance of Captains Terry, Berry and L. Jeffreys. Soon after the Cup races, Volunteer was bought by John Malcolm Forbes and was Re-rigged as a schooner in 1891. On August 21,1893 she went onto the rocks at Hadley's Harbor, Naushon Island, off the coast of Massachusetts.
Damage was extensive. In 1894, in anticipation of racing with the British Valkyrie, she was returned to her original sloop rig, she was broken up at a New York junkyard in 1910. America's Cup's Ac-clopaedia The 19th Century Yacht Photography of J. S. Johnston
Vigilant was the victorious United States defender of the eighth America's Cup in 1893 against British challenger Valkyrie II. Vigilant was designed by Nathanael Greene Herreshoff and built in 1893 by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company of Bristol, Rhode Island, she was Herreshoff's first victorious America's Cup defender design. Vigilant was a centerboard sloop with all-metal construction, she was owned by a syndicate led by Charles Oliver Iselin and which included Edwin Dennison Morgan, August Belmont, Jr. Cornelius Vanderbilt, Charles R. Flint, Chester W. Chapin, George R. Clark, Henry Astor Carey, Dr. Barton Hopkins, E. M. Fulton, Jr. and Adrian G Iselin. She was skippered by Nathanael Greene Herreshoff himself. Launched on June 14, 1893, Vigilant beat Colonia and Pilgrim to win the 1893 American selection trials for the America's Cup defense. In the 1893 America's Cup Vigilant faced Lord Dunraven's British keel cutter Valkyrie II in a best three out of five races format sailed on alternating courses.
The races were sailed October 7, 9, 13, 1893 off Sandy Hook, NJ just south of New York. The first and third races were 15 miles to windward off Scotland Lightship and return to leeward, the second race was a 30-mile equilateral triangle. Lord Dunraven's daughter became the first female to sail in an international yacht race in the United States. In the first race on October 7, in light air, Valkyrie II won the 11:25 am start by 15 seconds and one boat length. At the first mark, Vigilant held a nine-minute lead. Vigilant crossed the finish line 7 minutes ahead of Valkyrie II—8 minutes 48 seconds in corrected time. In the second race on October 9, Vigilant won the 11:25 am start by 5 seconds, but Valkyrie II worked out to an early lead of 5 boat lengths in a building 24 miles per hour breeze. By the first mark, Vigilant held a five-minute lead and worked out to a 9-minute lead at the second mark. At the finish Vigilant beat Valkyrie II by 12 minutes 30 seconds—10 minutes 35 seconds in corrected time.
In the third race on October 13, 1893, Lord Dunraven, was facing elimination but was certain the Valkyrie II could equal or better Vigilant in the strong breeze. Valkyrie II lost a spinnaker at the two-thirds point of the downwind run. At the finish, Vigilant beat Valkyrie II by 40 seconds in corrected time to defend the cup; the World reported it as the fastest race sailed, over a course of 15 miles to windward and return under reefed sail and a gale. In 1894 Vigilant was bought by Howard Gould and became the first America's Cup defender to sail in Europe for the British yachting season. In the Mount's Bay Regatta of July 28, 1894 the Vigilant was piloted by Benjamin Nicholls of Penzance and the Prince of Wales's yacht Britannia was piloted by Ben's brother Philip Nicholls; the Britannia won by just over 7 minutes. People came by train from all over the south west to watch this race. Both brothers were Trinity House pilots of Penzance. In sixteen races against Britannia, Vigilant was beaten twelve times.
Vigilant raced in the defender trials for the 1895 America's Cup won by Defender. From 1896 to 1910 Vigilant had six different owners. Massachusetts socialite Frederick Lothrop Ames, Jr. purchased the Vigilant in 1902. Her final owner was William Iselin who sailed her from 1906 until 1910. Vigilant was broken up at a New London junkyard in 1910. Herreshoff Marine Museum America's Cup Ac-clopaedia John S. Johnston's Yacht Photography of the 1890s
Genesta was the unsuccessful English challenger in the fifth America's Cup in 1885 against the American defender Puritan. The cutter Genesta was designed by John Beavor-Webb and built by the D&W Henderson shipyard on the River Clyde in 1884, for owner Sir Richard Sutton, 5th Baronet, of the Royal Yacht Squadron, Isle of Wight, England, she was built of oak planking on a steel frame. Genesta was skippered by John Carter, she was measured weighing 80 tons. After a strong showing in the British yacht races in 1884, Sutton crossed the Atlantic Ocean to New York during the summer 1885 aboard Genesta. Upon arrival, designer Beavor-Webb refused to let anyone see his yacht before the America's Cup race, beginning the tradition of secrecy, over ruled for the 2017 event by the organisers.. After the Cup races and Genesta won the Brenton Reef Cup, the Cape May Challenge Cup, upon returning to Britain, the first Round Britain Race in 1887, covering the 1,590-mile course in 12 days, 16 hours, 59 minutes. Genesta was sold and converted to a yawl by the 1890s, was broken up in 1900.
America's Cup's Ac-clopaedia The 19th-Century Yacht Photography of J. S. Johnston
Shamrock V was the first British yacht to be built to the new J-Class rule. She was commissioned by Sir Thomas Lipton for his fifth America's Cup challenge. Although refitted several times, Shamrock is the only J-class never to have fallen into dereliction; the services of Charles Ernest Nicholson were once again employed to design the challenger and she was constructed at the Camper and Nicholsons yard in Gosport. Shamrock V was built from wood, with mahogany planking over steel frames and, most a hollow spruce mast; as a result of rule changes, she was the first British contender for the America's Cup to carry the Bermuda rig. Following her launch on 14 April 1930 she showed early promise on the British Regatta circuit winning 15 of 22 races, she underwent continuous upgrading with changes to her hull shape and modifications to the rig to create a more effective racing sail plan before departing to America in time for the 15th America's Cup. Four New York syndicates responded to Lipton's challenge each creating a J-Class, Yankee and Enterprise.
This was a remarkable response during depression-hit America with each yacht costing at least half a million dollars, served to highlight that despite the J-Class' immense power and beauty, their Achilles heel would be the exorbitant cost to construct and race them. Winthrop Aldrick's syndicate, emerged from the competitive round-robins as the eventual defender. Enterprise was the smallest J-Class to be built, her size being an early indication of the ruthless efficiency, employed by the renowned naval architect Starling Burgess; the efficiency of design was coupled to a number of pioneering features such as the Park Avenue Boom, hidden lightweight winches and the world’s first duralumin mast. The first of the best-of-seven races was a convincing victory for Enterprise winning by nearly three minutes. Shamrock V was to fare worse in the second race losing by nearly 10 minutes; the third race provided the assembled thousands on the shore at Newport, the racing they craved. Shamrock V's initial lead at the start was relinquished to Enterprise after a tacking duel.
Following this surrender disaster struck, as Shamrock V's main halyard parted and her sail collapsed to the deck. The fourth race clinched the cup for Enterprise after which Sir Thomas Lipton was heard to utter "I can't win". Shamrock V's challenge was plagued by bad luck and haunted by one of the most ruthless skippers in America's Cup history, Harold Vanderbilt. Sir Thomas Lipton, after endearing himself to the American public during 31 years and five attempts, would die the following year never fulfilling his ambition to win the cup; the British aviation industrialist Sir Thomas Sopwith was to be the next custodian of Shamrock V. A keen yachtsman, Sopwith bought her in 1931 as a trial horse to gain J-Class racing experience, he would add to Nicholson's skills with his own aeronautical expertise and material knowledge to build and perfect his challenger for the 16th America's cup, Endeavour. Shamrock V was sold to Sopwith's aviation friend, fellow yachtsman, Sir Richard Fairey of Fairey Aviation who continued to incorporate aerodynamic and hydrodynamic modifications as well as campaigning her against other J-Class yachts during the 1935 regatta season.
In 1937, Shamrock V was sold to industrialist Mario Crespi. This change in ownership prompted Shamrock V's only name change. Italian Fascist law had banned the use of foreign names in society, accordingly Shamrock V was renamed Quadrifoglio. Crespi was the first owner who modified Shamrock V for comfort by installing her maple interior. A renaissance for Shamrock V began in 1962 with her acquisition by the Italian yachtsman Piero Scanu, he instigated a comprehensive three year overhaul commencing in 1967 with Shamrock V returning to the Camper and Nicholsons yard. The hull and deck received significant attention along with the modernisation of the systems and engines; the effects of this rebuild were to last the next twenty years during which a remarkable repeat of history was enacted when, in 1986, Shamrock V returned to the ownership of the Lipton Tea Company who donated her to the Museum of Yachting at Newport, Rhode Island. Another extensive restoration was instigated by her new owners and undertaken by Elizabeth Meyer in 1989.
Following changes of ownership in the 1990s and another renovation, Shamrock V participated in a reunion in August 2001 with the only two remaining J-Classes and Velsheda, for the America's Cup Jubilee in the Solent. In March 2016 it was reported that Shamrock V had changed ownership and had been listed for sale with an asking price of €6 million. Shamrock V was seen being towed to and moored at Saxon Wharf in the River Itchen, Southampton, on 21st July 2018, she looked like she'd just had a refit as her paint was shiny and new, lots of bits of gear were still wrapped up and her mast was on deck. J Class Management Ranulf Rayner,The Story of the America's Cup 1851-2007 ISBN 978-1-86953-670-1
Australia is an Australian 12-metre-class America's Cup racing yacht that twice challenged unsuccessfully for the America's Cup in 1977 and 1980. Designed by Ben Lexcen in association with the Dutch designer Johan Valentijn for Alan Bond, Australia failed to win a single race against the 1977 defender, but won one race against the 1980 defender, Freedom. Australia resides in Australia. Australia was designed during 1976 by Ben Lexcen in association with the Dutch designer Johan Valentijn. Both men spent seven months experimenting with 1/9th scale models in the University of Delft test tank in the Netherlands. Australia is a conventional design and has been described as a "Courageous-style boat", it has v-shaped mid-ship sections, a low freeboard, large bustle and a low aft run finishing in a wide U-shaped transom. Its fore overhang is narrow and round shaped in its lowest part; the cockpits are shallow, keel is thin and the ballast is placed low. The elliptical mast is made in extruded aluminium.
Australia was 1,500 kilograms lighter than Courageous and it was hoped that by lowering the freeboard and taking a penalty on length, Australia would prove faster than the US boat. Australia was built by Steve Ward in Perth and launched in February 1977. Australia sailed in sea trials against Alan Bond's 1974 challenger, Southern Cross, off Yanchep in Western Australia; the older boat remained a trial horse for Australia during the 1977 America's Cup series. For the 1977 America's Cup, Australia went to Newport and raced against the 1970 Australian challenger, Gretel II, the Swedish entrant and the French challenger, led by Baron Bich. Australia won the right to challenge for the Cup by defeating Sverige 4–0; however Australia lost to the US defender, Courageous, 4–0. Ben Lexcen, who stayed in Australia during the challenge, went to Newport and was disappointed to find that Australia had a poor-quality mast from Southern Cross and that Australia's sails were flat, heavy and of poor quality. Australia was never competitive and Courageous won the series easily.
Alan Bond suggested dropping Australia and designing a new boat for the 1980 series. Ben Lexcen, was convinced that Australia's hull – with a few modifications – was a good design and that its performance would improve with a new rig and sails; the hull had its keel made sharper at the bottom, the bustle was lowered and made larger to help improve the steering. Australia's competitors for challenging the Americans were: Sverige, back for a second time. Lionheart was a fast boat because it was fitted with a "bendy" mast which hooked aft several feet at its tip giving it 10 per cent extra unmeasured sail area on its main sail. In light winds, that gave the British boat a strong advantage. Seeing the British boat's speed, the Australia camp decided to copy the mast; the "bendy" rig added to Australia's speed and it became a competitive boat defeating the US defender Freedom in the second race of the series. However, the late adoption of the "bendy" mast meant that the crew of Australia were experimenting with the newly cut sails and lacked the necessary confidence in them to win.
In any case, the "bendy" mast was only effective in light winds. In the final two races, the wind blew hard enough to cancel out whatever advantage it gave Australia and Freedom won the series convincingly 4–1. Following the 1980 challenge, Australia was sold to the British "Victory" syndicate headed by Peter de Savary. Renamed Temeraire, the boat became a trial-horse for Victory 82 and Victory 83 for the 1983 America's Cup, won by Australia II. In 1985, Australia returned to Sydney after being bought by Syd Fisher in 1985 to be the trail horse for Fisher's "East Australia America's Cup Defence" syndicate defender and Kidney. Australia,as with Steak and Kidney, was refitted, passing survey, as a day sailing charter boat in 2004 and was acquired, along with Steak N Kidney, by the Australia 12m Historic Trust in 2011. Today, Australia is located near Drummoyne, in Sydney, alongside Steak N Kidney