Dorade and her veteran team dealt with their share of challenges in the 2022 season, but made the most of the opportunities of racing in New England, accompanied by their mothership, the 1964 Carlo-Riva-designed, Feadship-built Caravelle named Serena.
Pam summarizes 2022 like this: “Unlike most summers, when we might do just one or two events a month, we were sailing almost every week for close to three months. We saw a marked improvement in our performance on deck, working out some of the kinks and smoothing out transitions, which can be hair raising when you’ve got five or six sails up.”
Team Dorade kicked off in Newport with a string of wins at New York Yacht Club events in June and July, 2022, first the 168th Annual Regatta then Race Week at Newport in July. The Annual Regatta included victory in the Around the Island as well as the Two-Day Series.
But after finishing Race Week, the crew discovered that the “P” Bracket that supports Dorade’s port-side propeller shaft had broken, delaying plans to sail to Maine to race in events for classic boats. Dorade was hauled in Portsmouth, R.I., at LMI, and the bracket was replaced in late July. This required custom fabrication of the bronze part, but the repair was soon completed and Dorade was relaunched.
More challenging than the broken P-bracket was long-time sailmaker and sailing master Kevin Miller’s difficulties with severe back pain that prematurely ended his season in the afterguard and required back surgery. Another long-time crewmember, South African Mike Giles stepped in, as did local sailor Jamie Hilton for the final regatta; both sailors have logged many miles on Dorade and know her strengths and weaknesses in different conditions.
Dorade made it Down East later than expected but still in time for the New York Yacht Club Cruise in which she continued her winning streak, this time in the Classic Spinnaker division. She also finished second in the Astor Cup racing in ORC Spinnaker.
On the way back to Newport, Dorade competed at the Nantucket Regatta, where the team earned another podium finish, capped off by the Opera House Cup, in which she scored 5th in the Vintage Division.
A full summer of sailing came to a close with a pair of classic yacht events hosted by the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol, R.I., and the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, respectively. Matt and Pam again found themselves on the podium receiving more regatta silverware and a Sparkman & Stephens design award.
“This season was particularly meaningful for me,” says Pam, “as I was dealing with a recurrence of cancer, and in chemo all summer. But I’m never happier than when I’m on Dorade, especially at the helm, and I’m grateful to Matt, John Hayes, Mike Giles, ‘Chewy’ Chowanski, Greg Stewart, and the rest of our team for making it possible for me to be an active competitor through thick and thin.
“Everyone on the team really gave their all this year, but there were two real standouts. The first was the new captain of Serena, Nick Ruiz, who stepped into that role just days before our departure to Maine and wowed us all with his seamanship, his positive vibe, and the world’s best pasta Bolognese.
“The award for the season’s most improved performance definitely goes to our nipper, URI sophomore Miles Bailey, who went from scrubbing down the boat and filling water bottles to serving as navigator, iPad in hand, calling lay lines and splits. We’re looking forward to seeing where he’ll send us next year!”