On 21st July, 1931 the Olin Stephens design ‘Dorade’ was within signaling distance of the Lizard lighthouse, the most southern point of England and the finishing line for the Transatlantic Race that started from Newport, Rhode Island. Olin and Rod Stephens eagerly requested for their position to which the station keeper responded by hoisting the flags N A X: “You are first”. History has almost repeated itself for the slight 52 foot Bermudan yawl, this time without the flags and on a different ocean.
In 1936 Dorade won the Transpacific Yacht race from Los Angeles to Honolulu and she has just succeeded in accomplishing the same feat 77 years later. She was the only classic in a fleet of modern racing yachts including Roy Disney’s modern 70 footer, ‘Pyewacket’. ‘Dorade’ covered the 2,225 nautical mile course in 12 days, 5 hours, 23 minute and 18 seconds – more than a day faster than her time back in 1936 – and after handicap was applied more than 2 hours before second place.
Owner Matt Brooks’ ‘Crazy Idea’ is to enter Dorade in all the races where she was victorious during her early years including the Trans-Atlantic(maybe in 2015) and Fastnet Race. After being told it couldn’t be done and that Dorade was more suited as ‘antique furniture’ there was a point to prove. Point proven I’d say!
Well done to Dorade and her crew for showing those modern carbon sleighs where it’s really at! We salute you.