Skip to main content

VIDEO: Wooden yawl re-creates 1930s ocean-race glory

Dorade was the oldest boat to compete in this year’s Fastnet and it took home three of the event’s most prestigious trophies.

Defying critics who said it couldn’t be done, Dorade completed a four-year campaign to repeat all of the major ocean races she won in the 1930s, finishing on the podium at the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race, where she took second in IRC Class 4 and seventh overall among 356 boats.

A 52-foot wooden yawl built in 1930 by Olin and Rod Stephens, Dorade was the oldest boat to compete in this year’s Fastnet and it took home three of the event’s most prestigious trophies: the Sparkman & Stephens Trophy, the Iolaire Block and the Coates Schofield Trophy, according to the Dorade website.

Finishing the 615-mile race in four days, six hours, 13 minutes and 42 seconds, owners Matt Brooks and Pam Rorke Levy, of San Francisco, and their seven-man crew cut more than 24 hours off Rod and Olin Stephens’ original time when they won the Fastnet in 1931.

This year’s Fastnet Race was the final event in Brooks and Levy’s ambitious “Return to Blue Water” campaign, which began shortly after the couple purchased Dorade in 2010. The goal of the campaign was to restore the 80-year-old Dorade to ocean-racing condition and repeat all four of the major ocean races she won in the 1930s, matching or bettering her original time in each race.

In just four years the boat has sailed more than 18,000 miles on her own bottom, competing in offshore and coastal races throughout Europe, the Caribbean and North America.

In 2013, Dorade surprised everyone in the sailing community, including Brooks and Levy, by winning the 2,225-mile Transpacific Race overall on corrected time, 77 years after winning that race for the first time. At the time Dorade was the oldest boat ever to compete in the TransPac.

That victory was followed by class wins in the Caribbean 600 and the 2014 Newport-Bermuda Race, as well as second in class in the 2015 Transatlantic Race.

Here’s some video of the ladies team during the 2014 Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta:

Check out the website to see some vintage footage of some of those races in the 1930s.

“We simply wanted to finish every race in good order and show that a classic boat designed decades ago to race in the ocean could once again be competitive,” Levy said.

“We wanted to do Olin and Rod Stephens proud, showing that a boat they built when they were just getting started was not just a revolutionary new design, but a design with enduring value. The success of the campaign was beyond our wildest dreams.”

Related

Northpoint

Northpoint Expands Marine Presence

Northpoint Commercial Finance has partnered with Elite Recreational Finance to offer retail financing.

BRP

BRP Reports 71% Increase in Q3 Revenues

The Sea-Doo manufacturer had total revenue of $2.7 billion, but North American marine retail sales were down 47%.

Airmar

Airmar Announces Training Dates

Certified Installer and SmartBoat system classes are being held this month in New Jersey and next year in New Hampshire.

Norm

The Survey Says …

Surveying customers to find out what they think about your business has never been more important.

1_MDI

Marine Development Inc. Changes Hands

Mick Webber, the former president/CEO and owner of HydroHoist, has purchased the company from its founders.

Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 10.06.58 AM

Yanmar Reports Record First Half

Supported by overseas growth in construction equipment, generators and components, the company announced net sales of approximately $3.5 billion.

1_FWC.DERELICTS

FWC Accepting Vessel Turn-In Applications

The program disposes of unwanted, at-risk vessels before they become derelict at no cost to owners.

1_WAHLSTROM.ACQUISITION

Walstrom Acquires Grand Bay Marine

The transaction expands the company’s footprint in the Great Lakes region and brings the Regal, Starcraft, Godfrey, Bayliner, Robalo and Berkshire brands to Walstrom’s portfolio.

1_ROWE.OBIT

Indmar Co-Founder Dies at 95

A 20-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Dick Rowe dedicated himself to the recreational boating industry for more than four decades.