New York Yacht Club’s Annual Regatta is traditionally the season opener in the Northeast for Dorade, and the 167th edition of the event was nothing but a long-awaited pleasure. Like so many others sailing crews, Team Dorade was high and dry in 2020 with no races completed.
On the previous weekend, the crew had sailed the Leukemia Cup as a warm-up race against a modern ORC fleet, finishing sixth, and the practice paid off in the Annual Regatta’s kick-off event on Friday; Dorade won her five-boat Classics division in the Round Island Race by five seconds. In second place was Ken Colburn’s Marilee, the well-prepared N.G. Herreshoff-designed New York 40.
Our sailing master Kevin Miller said, “We had a very good race until we rounded the north end of the island, where we struggled for pace up the beat to the finish. We were fortunate to get some separation (left shift on the approach while Marilee was on right side) at the end of the beat which resulted in us coming back into them enough to be back in handicap range.”
Three races were held over the next two days, and Kevin attributed Dorade’s winning 1-1-3 record to a refinished bottom and good sails. “Speed was key to winning,” he said, “as conditions weren’t too shifty. The races tended to be drag races during some of the legs.”
Dorade’s record might have been even better if not for a scoring penalty taken in the last race. Kevin explained: “We fouled Sonny at the last windward mark—they were stuck head to wind and looked like they had a problem, giving us plenty of room for us to tack inside. They recovered and fell back onto starboard tack after we were already committed.”
Team Dorade’s winning edge may also have resulted from more subtle factors. Co-owner Pam Rorke Levy brought along Rosie, her two-and-a-half pound Yorkshire Terrier to crack the whip as necessary. Fortunately, Rosie didn’t need to get too tough on the crew, which was largely made up of long-time shipmates who were thrilled to be sailing such a beautiful boat again.