With about one-fourth the fleet still making their final approaches into the finish in Monday’s light winds off Honolulu, the windows of opportunities have now been closed for anyone to challenge the top three overall finishers in the 2013 Transpac.
On the strength of starting in perfect wind conditions, carrying these through the race, and with a comprehensive refit and well-developed performance program on a classic yacht, Matt Brooks’ 1929 Sparkman & Stephens-designed 52-foot wooden yawl Dorade has earned overall victory in this 47th edition of the race, organized by the Transpacific YC and held biennially since 1906.
This is the second time Dorade has won: the first was in 1936. In the 1930’s Dorade amassed a racing record unmatched for her time, with victories in the Newport-Bermuda, Fastnet, and Transatlantic races, and it is unprecedented for a classic yacht of this era to also score so well in a mixed fleet of modern yachts.
“We thought if we could match Dorade's 1936 record of thirteen days that would be absolutely fantastic,” said Brooks. “We actually beat that record by more than a day. To do what we've done exceeded all our expectations.”
Brooks and his wife Pam Rorke Levy bought Dorade in 2010 and spent more than a year refitting it for ocean racing, with the goal of repeating the many races the boat won in the 1930s, a record of wins that stands unbeaten today.
They entered the 83-year-old Dorade in the TransPac against the advice of many in the sailing community, who view the boat as an irreplaceable piece of maritime history. Sea trials and constant refinement of the boat's systems have been ongoing over the past three years.
“Really there were eight of us on this — seven crewmembers and the eighth was Dorade — and she didn't disappoint us,” said Brooks. “She performed flawlessly and did everything we asked her to do.”
Yellowbrick trackers are reporting positions, speeds and headings on 6 hour delays for the rest of the fleet, which then revert to being available live as they approach within 100 miles of the finish. Online spectators can follow the racer’s progress using this system: click here to view.
For information about the race, visit www.transpacyc.com.