The Ocean Eagles involvement with the America’s Cup Challenge has been a long and colourful one. She was bought by the billionaire ‘Bill Koch’ who also owned the yacht America 3, defeating the Italian team four races to one in the 1992 Challenge. The Eagle was used as his personal chase boat.
She was also involved in the 1995 Challenge when Bill Koch financed another team to compete for the Cup. This time the crew consisted entirely of women except for tactician David Dellenbaugh on a yacht named the Mighty Mary, skippered by the New Zealander, Leslie Egnot. The Eagle was once again his personal chase boat.
She then went on to being the San Diego Yacht Clubs committee boat for the New Zealand ‘Big Boat KZ1’, defeated by the defender, a catamaran, Stars and Stripes – US1. The ‘Big Boat’ is still being displayed today in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour Basin.
When New Zealand won the America’s Cup in 1995, the owner of the vessel New Zealand Challenge, purchased the Ocean Eagle from Bill Koch and shipped her to New Zealand. Since then, amongst being the most popular corporate function vessel, she has been Team New Zealand’s hospitality boat for the two America’s Cups held in the ‘City of Sails’.