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Keel

KEEL
Consists of a large fin attached to a lead-filled bulb.

The keel stops the boat from capsizing and counteracts the pressure made on the sails by the wind.

It weighs about 20 tons and represents 80% of the entire boat's weight. The maximum draught - distance from waterline to base of keel – is four metres and is likely to be adhered to by millimetres.

The keel design is one of the America's Cup's most closely-guarded secrets. Boats will enter and exit the water draped in skirts to hide the keel from prying eyes.

In 1983 controversy spilled over when Alan Bond’s Australia II accused defender Dennis Conner of spying by sending divers into the dock to peer at its keel.

It turned out Australia II was using a revolutionary winged keel but it was eventually deemed legal and they went on to win the Cup, ending America's 132-year stranglehold.


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