Transatlantic Countdown Day 9: Reflection by Brad Read

“The coolest yacht in the history of yachting.” – Brad Read, Executive Director Sail Newport

“My father owned a yawl so I had the opportunity to sail onboard a lot as a kid and always thought that the yawl concept was great. If you grew up in the 80s and were interested in the America’s Cup, you knew who Olin Stephens was and you had heard the David and Goliath story of Dorade winning the Transatlantic back in the day. The boat just simply has some of the prettiest aesthetics of any boat ever made.

Brad Read, Executive Director Sail Newport, aboard Dorade (Photo Credit: Mariah Dufur)

Brad Read, Executive Director Sail Newport, aboard Dorade (Photo Credit: Mariah Dufur)

“Throughout the years I just always followed Dorade. I followed it a little when she went to Italy, and when Edgar Cato was looking for a classic boat I told him Dorade was for sale and had just had a deck refit. Edgar went to Europe and bought her.

“One of the most intense experiences of my life was when Edgar brought her back from Europe. We had rigged it up and sailed the New England Sailing and Classic Yacht Regatta and Edgar got Olin Stephens to come down at 98-years-old and sail with us. So, I got to sail on Dorade, with Olin. To this day it is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had on the water.

“After that regatta Edgar had a survey done to see what needed to be fixed onboard and found that over 70 percent of the frames in the boat had snapped and the boat needed a huge refit. After some serious soul searching, Edgar realized, with Olin’s help, that he was at that time the only person that could save the boat and that is exactly what he did. We campaigned the boat for three years. After that Edgar got sick but was able to sell her to wonderful new caretakers in Matt Brooks and Pam Levy. ”

“Dorade is the most historically relevant boat of the last two generations. It took the concepts of a six or eight metre and extended it into an ocean-going boat. It was revolutionary for its time and to quote Olin, ‘It was a little two skinny but all-and-all she was a great boat’.

“When Matt Brooks first brought up the idea of sailing all the ocean races Dorade did back in the day I said, ‘are you nuts?’ But, you know it’s a total commitment this team has made to do all these races. Nobody thought they could win the Transpac, but they got the perfect weather window.

“You couldn’t have drawn it up more perfect for a skinny wooden yawl to win the Transatlantic against all these larger boats in 1931.”

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