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Bob Miller

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameRobert Clyde "Bob"•Miller
Used nameBob•Miller
Other namesBenjamin Lexcen, Ben Lexcen
Born19 March 1936 in Boggabri, New South Wales (AUS)
Died1 May 1988 in Manly, New South Wales (AUS)
Measurements183 cm / 91 kg
NOC Australia

Biography

In the 1950s Bob Miller moved to Sydney where he began work as a sail maker. He later turned to boat design and, in the late 50s, designed the International Contender class, which was considered a possible replacement for the Finn dinghy Olympic class. In the early 1960s Miller joined with Craig Whitworth to form Miller & Whitworth Pty Ltd, a boat building firm. They also sailed together, being named Australian Yachtsmen of the Year in 1966-67 for their work in the Flying Dutchman class. Miller won multiple Australian Championships in the Soling, Flying Dutchman, and 18-foot classes. He also competed in the VJ, VS, 16-foot, and Star classes. After the 1972 Olympics, his partnership with Whitworth ended and he started designing boats on his own, but legally changed his name to Benjamin Lexcen in 1977, known as Ben Lexcen, because Whitworth continued to use the name Miller & Whitworth for the company.

Miller designed Southern Cross, the Australian challenger for the America’s Cup in 1974, and modified it when it again challenged in 1980. His greatest fame, however, came in 1983 when he helped design Australia II, specifically its controversial winged keel, which enabled Australia II to defeat Dennis Conner’s Liberty to end the United States’ 132-year-old domination of the America’s Cup. Lexcen was promoted to AM and given the Prince Philip Prize for Australian Design. Together with the Australia II’s owner, Alan Bond, and its skipper, John Bertrand, he was named Australian Yachtsman of the Year for 1982-83. Lexcen died relatively young from a heart attack but, in 1988, the University of New South Wales created sports scholarships in his name and, in 2006, he was posthumously named to the America’s Cup Hall of Fame.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1972 Summer Olympics Sailing AUS Bob Miller
Three Person Keelboat, Open (Olympic) Australia 16

Special Notes