GRETEL II is the Australian America’s Cup 12 metre class yacht built to challenge for the America’s Cup series in 1970. It lost the series to the American defender Intrepid 4-1 in controversial circumstances that became headline news across Australia. Gretel II was regarded by some observers as the fastest 12-metre of that series and had shown that it was possible for another nation to produce a superior yacht to the Americans. She was designed by Alan Payne and built by William “Billy” Barnett at Blues Point, NSW. It was the last wooden 12 metre built anywhere in the world and is the only surviving Australian wooden 12 metre still sailing in Australia. It was subsequently modified to race in the 1977 America’s Cup series but did not qualify to challenge. In 1970 Packer returned to Newport, Rhode Island to challenge again for the ‘Auld Mug’. She was skippered by Jim Hardy with Martin Visser as tactician and starting helmsman and Bill Fesq as navigator. Many observers believed Gretel II was the faster boat but that the tactical cunning of Bill Ficker and Steve Van Dyke and American crew were the deciding factors in the Americans’ victory.