How did Australian Yacht Designer Ben Lexcen Die?

The Race of the Century film follows the historic race in which Australians took America’s cup from the Americans who had held on to the trophy for 132 years thanks to the financial backing and strength of the New York Yacht Club behind their backs. Undoubtedly, any outsider could pose an obstacle and even win the race.

But, the Australians did manage to accomplish this, and their success with their strategy was largely based on one individual Ben Lexcen. Lexcen was the marine architect responsible for designing the yacht that needed to be revolutionary, which wasn’t done before. To everyone’s delight, Lexcen was able to achieve this. What happened to him following the incident? What happened to him after his death? Let’s discover.

How Did Ben Lexcen Die?

Benjamin “Ben” Lexcen died at 52 years old on the morning of May 1st, 1988, because of an attack on the heart. He was buried in Frenchs Forest Cemetery located in Davidson, New South Wales. His wife was Yvonne Denise Miller, who had two children from her previous marriage. In 1988 the University of New South Wales introduced the Ben Lexcen Sports Scholarship, which was the first of its class to be awarded by an Australian university. In honor of his memory, Toyota Australia released the Toyota Lexcen in 1989. In his posthumous induction into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame in the year 2006.

Also, read Where is Australia’s Ex-Yacht Captain John Bertrand Now?

Although Lexcen has made his name, he was never well-known for it. The name he was given was in the year Robert “Bob” Clyde Miller. His grandparents raised him in Newcastle, the city. He attended the school for four years before leaving. He was an apprentice in a foundry before he developed his own designs for ships and vessels. He founded a company with a colleague; however, after they fell out, Miller left, but his co-worker continued to keep his name on the company. Then, he chose to change the name, which wouldn’t be as common.

He decided to go by the name Ben Lexcen. He then ran an online search to ensure that he did not share his name with anyone who was not his. He was referred to as Blinky by his peers and family. Lexcen represented the nation in the Soling class during the 1972 Olympic Games. In 1983, his impact on the world of yachting was when he built the yacht that pushed Australia II to an unprecedented win. There was some controversy when it was revealed that the New York Yacht Club accused him of outsourcing designs for the Keel. In the aftermath of his health, he was said to have suffered quite a bit.

However, it was proven that it had been a Lexcen design in the future. For this, he was named an Officer of the Order of Australia. Lexcen also designed several other yachts for the next America’s Cup competitions, but none could replicate the legacy of the one that Australia II had made. Lexcen was described as the “forgetful dreamer with a disheveled appearance,” his journey is described in the book ‘Ben Lexcen The Man The Keel and the Cup’ by Bruce Stannard and in “Being with Benny” written by Bob Ross. It was in the process of designing a second yacht that Lexcen passed away.

Lexcen is remembered fondly by his acquaintances. John Bertrand called the man a brilliant individual and referred to Lexcen as “the Leonardo da Vinci of Australia.” His unique personality made him an individual; some have described his personality as “After they got rid of the mold, they created him.” Reports said he talked about melting the mold and turning it into hubcaps after winning America’s Cup. Australia II’s grinder John Longley described the man as a “one-off. There was a lightning bolt the other day, and there was he.”

Also, read Where is John Bertrand’s Wife Rasa Bertrand Now

A genuine genius and a unique individual, Lexcen showed the world that you don’t need a formal education to make a difference. You only need determination and a mindset that is a bit out of the ordinary to challenge convention and leave their mark on the world just as he did.

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