In 1929, Dorade was the first offshore design by the New York City firm of Sparkman & Stephens. Olin Stephens leaned on his Six-Metre experience and designed a 52-foot hull with a 10-foot, 4-inch beam. The result was considered radical in the heydey of John Alden's fisherman-style schooners, but Dorade's success in Transatlantic, Bermuda and Fastnet Races quickly made her a sensation.
Built with steam-bent frames, Dorade's hull and deck were lighter than her competitors, and matched with external ballast, narrow beam, and low wetted surface, she was easily driven. Her deep, narrow shape and modest yawl rig also allowed her to be driven hard in rough conditions.
Close to 90 years later, Dorade has been fully restored by owners Matt Brooks and Pam Rorke Levy. Since 2011, she has competed with distinction in races to Bermuda, across the Atlantic and the Pacific, and from Sydney to Hobart. In the Transpac Race, she competed against a large, competitive fleet in 2013, and won the race overall on corrected time, earning again the title that she first won in 1936.
Matt and Pam's campaign aboard Dorade aims to fulfill the mission described below. Olin Stephens' first offshore racing design continues to sail swiftly, win silverware and earn the admiration of sailors everywhere.
Dorade was born to race in the open ocean. The goal for our current restoration and future sailing is to prepare Dorade to once again perform as a highly competitive ocean racer. To this end, I think it is essential that we work and consult with S&S, while continuing to rely on the advice, input and involvement of the current Dorade Team. By fostering active collaboration between Dorade’s original designer’s and her current keepers we will ensure that her history is honored and her lineage protected. We all acknowledge that Dorade is a very special craft, and all of us are committed to her preservation.
A native of San Leandro, California, Matt learned to sail in Monterey Bay as a boy, and went on to race on San Francisco Bay on his first yacht Quarter Pounder, sailing under the St. Francis flag. Matt is also a well-known mountain guide, and over the past forty years has racked up first ascents in the Sierra and the French alps, established a mountaineering equipment company, and earned the Presidential Gold Medal from the American Mountain Guides Association. Since soloing as a pilot at age 13, Matt has also set many world records in the air, including the record time for circumnavigating the globe (westward) and flying westward across the US, all in a specially equipped Citation business jet. With DORADE, he is happy to be in the company of other avid sportsmen who believe “failure is not an option.”
Pam Rorke Levy
Pam Rorke Levy is Matt’s partner on land and sea, and an active participant in all of Dorade’s campaigns, either on the water or shoreside. Her most recent distance races aboard the boat included podium finishes in the 2018 Newport Bermuda Race, Royal Bermuda YC Anniversary Regatta, and Onion Patch Series. A documentary filmmaker with an armload of Emmies, Pam worked for many years as a creative director for companies like Intel, HP and Adobe, but now keeps busy at home in San Francisco as Board Chair at the San Francisco Art Institute, the oldest arts college west of the Mississippi. She is also writing her first book, chronicling Dorade’s return to blue water.
Kevin Miller brings 30 years of sailmaking and racing experience to the team. He has raced inshore (multiple National Championships) and offshore events around the world with overall victories in Transpac, Sydney to Hobart, Newport Bermuda, Cowes Week. Kevin’s area of expertise includes tactics, crew management, rating optimization, and sail/boat development.
When not sailing, he enjoys surfing, mountain biking and just about anything outdoors. Kevin is the owner or North sails Channel Islands and resides in Ventura, California with his wife Jennifer and their three children.
Matt Wachowicz is a tactical navigator who has raced professionally since 1998. He has 3 America’s Cup campaigns to his credit, and has played both a technical and sailing role on 2 Volvo Ocean Race teams, as well as on a host of other international grand prix racing programs. He currently races in the IMA Maxi, Mini-Maxi, IRC and Superyacht circuits worldwide. While his focus over the last few years has been more on the inshore aspect of the sport, Matt originally learned the art of blue water navigation under the tutelage of the legendary Mark Rudiger, and lately has returned to his ocean racing roots with a renewed focus on offshore racing.
Matt and his family currently live in Norfolk, Virginia.
Eric "Chewy" Chowanski
Eric Chowanski was introduced to sailboat racing on the bow of a Santa Cruz 27 at age 14. Growing up racing in the windy Channel Islands set the stage for Transpac and Mexico racing on the bow of Jumpin’ Jack Flash in the early ’90s. In 1999, Chewy took on management of Udo Gietl’s Andrews 56 Quantum, campaigning the boat successfully for four years both inshore and offshore. He is grateful for owner and motorcycle legend Udo Gietl’s expectations. Five years on the Farr 40 circuit and 9 years with Team Pendragon have rounded out his experience. When not sailing, Eric can be found mountain biking and hiking the steep trails of the Santa Barbara backcountry.
John Hayes brings many years of yacht racing experience to the Dorade program, having sailed with multiple programs on boats ranging in size from small boats to Maxi yachts. John participates in both inshore and offshore races and has completed and won many of the offshore ocean classics and also has won many National, International and World Championships along the way.
He is happy to be a part of the Dorade team and is looking forward to sailing aboard such a beautiful classic yacht. John is a lifelong Connecticut resident and avid skier.
Mike Giles has been sailing for more than 35 years. Growing up on a tidal estuary, sailing was was always going to be a fun activity. He excelled in the junior classes, went on to do two Laser Olympic campaigns (1996, 2000) finishing second each time in the trials. In 1996, his passion for offshore racing began with winning the Cape Town Race onboard a 60-footer called Warrior. Since then has been able to combine a BSC Construction Management degree and a passion for sailing. He raced in the America's Cup in Valencia and a host of other high profile international events and has also project-managed leading boatbuilding projects. His constant drive for performance, quiet nature and team leadership has made him a sought after member of many projects. While not racing, he enjoys outdoor activities that are physically and mentally challenging.
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