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