People: Nov. 24, 1986

It looks a bit like a skinny dinghy with a spinnaker. But while sleek 12- meter racing yachts were battling the stormy seas off the western coast of Australia in the America's Cup trials these past weeks, a much more modest vessel was being launched in the calmer waters of a harbor in nearby Fremantle. The skipper of the miniature marvel is none other than Ben Lexcen, 50, the celebrated designer of Australia II, which won the America's Cup in 1983. Featuring a scaled-down version of Lexcen's revolutionary winged keel, the 14-ft.-long fiber-glass Mini 12 sells for about $3,000, is virtually...

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