By Pam Rorke Levy
What a spectacular time we all had in Maine! It felt like a homecoming of sorts, bringing Dorade back to where Olin saw her win in 2008, just weeks before his passing. The sun shone the entire week, bringing more than enough wind to make the racing varied and challenging, and everywhere we went fans of Olin and the boat welcomed us back. It was just the icing on the cake to actually do well in the races – winning our class in the Castine to Camden and in the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta and coming in third behind Sonny and Blue Peter in the Castine Classic Yacht Race. The barbecue and after-dark awards ceremony at the Wooden Boat School on Saturday night was a warm and special thrill, with towheaded children doing cartwheels on the lawn and fireworks that took it completely over the top.
There are many people to thank for making this such a memorable trip. Special thanks to David Bicks and his race committee for making us feel at home on the Castine Town Dock, where more than 200 wooden boat enthusiasts of all ages lined up on Tuesday afternoon for tours conducted by our boat captain Razz Bregenhoj and former Dorade nipper Nick Bellico, who now works at the Brooklin Boatyard. David Bicks also invited us to participate in a symposium at the Maine Maritime Academy that afternoon along with Troy Sears of America — the boat that shared top billing with Dorade — the incomparable John Rousmaniere, author Mark Gabrielson, and Dorade author Doug Adkins, who moderated the event. As David knows, the only thing we like as much as sailing aboard Dorade is TALKING about sailing aboard Dorade, so thank you for that opportunity.
David introduced us to so many lovely people in Castine — many of whom joined us for an informal dinner aboard Dorade that evening — and for me it was a special treat to have breakfast before the race the next day with the Bob and Pam Scott and the rest of the crew aboard Falcon, many of whom sailed with Olin in this very event back in the early 2000s. We started conversations about Olin and Rod that I’m sure will continue at some future date. And thanks to Jack Burke at the Pentagoet Inn in Castine, whose wife Julie catered our dockside dinner in perfect style, despite the fact that their house had burned down just days before our arrival. That’s Maine hospitality for you!
Special thanks also go to the crew of our mothership, Northern Star – Preston, Julie, and Tracy –and Paul Buttrose and Sandy Carney who helped arrange the charter – who made the point-to-point races easy and enjoyable for those of us who didn’t really understand the complexities of Maine’s geography. There can’t be too many things better in life than racing on Dorade… followed up by a glass of rose and diving off the deck into Maine’s cold clear waters.
And thank you to our crew – always good humored, always a pleasure – tactician and crew boss Kevin Miller, driver Greg Stewart, trimmer John Hayes, bowman Eric ‘Chewy’ Chowanski, with Razz on the mainsail, Jens Lange at the mast and Nick on the bow.