Bill Koch back in business


In as controversial form as ever, the 1992 America's Cup winner took part in last week's Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup
A surprise entry in the Mini Maxi class at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup last week was America’s Cup legend, American Bill Koch. The winner of the Cup with America³ in 1992, Koch decided in the spring to charter Tom Hill’s relatively new Reichel-Pugh 75 Titan XV for the Maxi Worlds. This would mark his return to the class after his double Maxi Worlds win with Matador 2 in the early 1990s. In recent years Koch has been entertaining himself to a degree racing the famous 12m KZ7, Kiwi Magic. As is his tendency, he had been trying to improve her performance particularly in light airs (should that be allowed on historic vessels such as this?) “I spent a fortune trying to down-wind her and we finally got her so that she was competitive, but she didn’t have a groove, wasn’t properly balanced, etc,” says Koch. “We were lucky enough to win the World Championship and I said I was going to either sell it or give it away. I couldn’t sell it because there were so many 12 metres on the market, and I had a hard time giving it away because anyone who was willing to take it wanted a cash endowment to go with it. So in that case I might as well just put it in a shed and pay rent on the shed.” In the end they managed to find a new home for New Zealand’s first America’s Cup challenger at the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY, joining other notable but unwanted race boats such as Moneypenny and Genuine Risk. In his previous foray into the Maxi class, Koch’s took an uncompromising approach to the technical development of his Matador 2, an approach that subsequently won him the America’s Cup. Some might argue that this contributed to

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