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After Matt Brooks and Pam Rorke Levy’s 83-year-old S&S 52 Dorade stunned the yachting world by taking overall honors in this year’s very competitive TransPac — 77 years after she won it overall the first time — the slim classic yacht didn’t rest on her laurels. In fact, last month she was shipped to Newport, Rhode Island, from where Brooks and crew will later sail her down to Antigua, which will be her Caribbean homebase for the winter of 2013-’14. Dorade has already had a lot of fun in the Caribbean, winning her class in the Voiles de St. Barth in 2011.
Some owners of classic yachts believe they are for coddling as floating museum pieces. Not Brooks, a Fremont-based member of the St. Francis YC who spent more than a year and a lot of money having the legendary yacht completely restored in the Northeast after he bought her a few years ago. That being the case, he’s got a busy schedule planned for her in the sunny Caribee this winter. First, on February 24 Dorade will start the challenging Caribbean 600, which takes a superb fleet weaving through the islands of the Caribbean for you guessed it 600 miles. Come late April, she’ll participate in the BVI Spring Regatta, which has both a very competitive racing and very lively social program.
Following that, the plan had been for Pam Levy and a group of women sailors to enter Dorade in the Voiles de St. Barth again. But that may not be possible as, for inexplicable reasons, the race organizers — our friends François ‘Toto’ Tolede and Lucky Poupon — have eliminated the classic division and rescheduled the event for the same April dates as the Antigua Classic Regatta. Matt and Pam love the Voiles de St. Barth, but if we can’t convince Toto and Lucky to let them enter, Pam and her women’s team will do the Antigua Classic Regatta instead. Not that the latter isn’t the premier classic regatta in the Caribbean.
“We’re firming up our women’s crew,” says Pam,”but J.J. Fetter, formerly Isler, will be the helmswoman, and she’ll be joined by Pamela Healy, and hopefully Jenny Tulloch, Paige Brooks, Laurel Gaudec and myself, all of whom were members of Dorade’s victorious Leukemia Cup team.”
“Don’t forget Hannah Jenner,” added Matt.
“Oh, yeah, Hannah, who was part of the victorious TransPac crew.”
“After the season in the Caribbean,” says Brooks, “we’re going to do the Bermuda Race again. We did it once, but we weren’t satisfied with our finish.”
Other races that Dorade won in her youth, and that Brooks plans to do again, are the TransAtlantic Race and England’s classic
Fastnet Race. What a terrific and unusual program for a yacht that hadn’t been raced competitively since the 1930s.
– Original article found on the October 2013 Issue of Latitude38 by Richard Spindler