Do­rade to com­pete at Hamo

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

THE world’s most suc­cess­ful ocean rac­ing yacht is set to grace Whit­sun­day waters dur­ing the 2017 run­ning of the Audi Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week.

She is the fa­mous 16m Amer­i­can yawl Do­rade.

No yacht in the his­tory of the sport has won more of the world’s ma­jor races, nor cov­ered more off­shore rac­ing miles, than Do­rade.

She has col­lected first place tro­phies for the Fast­net Race out of Eng­land, the Ber­muda race, the Transpa­cific Race be­tween Los An­ge­les and Hawaii plus many more.

All suc­cess, span­ning more than eight decades, has come in the north­ern hemi­sphere, so Do­rade’s own­ers, Matt Brooks and Pam Rorke Levy, de­cided it was time to give their yacht the chance to be a win­ner in south­ern hemi­sphere events.

Do­rade was de­signed in 1929 by 21-year-old Olin Stephens and built at a cost of $28,000 un­der the su­per­vi­sion of his younger brother, Rod, at Min­neford Yacht Yard in New York.

When she emerged from the shed for her launch­ing in 1930, ob­servers were shocked by what they saw. The hull shape had her look­ing more like a day-sail­ing 6m class yacht rather than an ocean racer – she was a far cry from the tra­di­tional Amer­i­can schooners of the day.

The de­sign fea­tured a deep keel with ex­ter­nal bal­last, a re­mark­ably nar­row beam of 3.1m and a gen­er­ous sail plan spread across a yawl rig.

The method of con­struc­tion was also dif­fer­ent – the hull frames were steam-bent rather than sawn.

Rod Stephens re­ceived ad­di­tional ac­claim at the time when he un­veiled the unique on-deck ven­ti­la­tors on the yacht. This con­cept, still used to­day, be­came known as a Do­rade Box. It per­mits the pas­sage of air into and out of a cabin while keep­ing rain, spray and sea water out.

Do­rade was fully re­stored at an Italian yacht yard 20 years ago and has been main­tained in su­perb con­di­tion since.

Af­ter con­test­ing this year’s Audi Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week, which is sched­uled for Au­gust 19–26, the yacht will head south to Syd­ney to be pre­pared for this year’s Rolex Syd­ney Ho­bart Yacht Race.

For more info visit the AHIRW web­site.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

AC­TION: The fa­mous 16m Amer­i­can yawl Do­rade will con­test this year’s Audi Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week.

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