Like new: "Dorade" after extensive refit
He was one of the grand masters of yacht design. And "Dorade" brought him his international breakthrough. Olin Stephens's 16-meter yawl, drawn for his father, has been successful in offshore regattas from the year it debuted. In the BermudRace 1930 she immediately came second in her class and first with a purely amateur crew. She took silver in the 1931 transatlantic race. In 1932 she won the BermudRace. 1933 the Fastnet. And in 1936 the transpacific race. To name just a few of their triumphs.
Now, after an extensive refit, the new owner is planning a kind of memorial series. "Dorade" will once again sail all those regattas that have established their reputation.
Owner Matt Brooks
San Francisco-based Matt Brooks takes challenges seriously. The well-known mountain guide and sports pilot has numerous first ascents in the Alps and non-stop records. He also knows his way around the water. Brooks is world champion in the 6 mR class in the vintage division. He is now tackling the "Dorade" project with the same consistency. With Olin Stephens' successful model, Brooks will initially sail the spring regattas in the Caribbean. A kind of warm-up program for the crew: Heineken Regattin St Maarten, Les Voiles de St Barths and the AntiguClassic Yacht Regatta. The boat and the crew have to prove themselves before the first of the commemorative races starts on June 15: Newport-Bermuda. This will be followed by other classics, including a transatlantic regatt and the Rolex Fastnet Race.
The yacht will be in the best possible condition for the foreseeable future. Already after the purchase in 2010, the owner Brooks commissioned an extensive refit. “Make it as perfect as you can!” Was the assignment for Joe Loughborough, who was overseeing the work in Newport, Rhode Island.
Practically every part has been inspected and, if necessary, repaired or replaced. From frames, stringers, planks, deck beams to machines, oars, sails, rigging, winches, navigation electronics and the interior. A blog on the Dorade website provides insights into the major project to which YACHT classic will dedicate a major report in its next issue. The special issue will be published on May 1, 2012.
How important "Dorade" was for the history of yacht building, but especially for its designer, is proven by the autobiography of Olin Stephens, which is well worth reading: "All this and Sailing, too". Chapter 3 is all about the yawl, which helped establish its global reputation. A new book by Douglas D. Adkins was recently published in the US, which is exclusively dedicated to the boat: "Dorade - the History of an Ocean Racing Yacht".