This posting is written by Matt
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.
Matt’s Crazy Idea
My idea is to enter Dorade in all the races where she was victorious during her early years including, but not limited to, the race across the Atlantic. (A Trans-Atlantic Race in 2012 would be perfect timing.)
To accomplish this, we must assemble and train a crew with the right skills, chemistry and experience to race Dorade and win in trans-oceanic races. We also need to toughen-up Dorade herself, readying her for the kind of long-range sailing she hasn’t seen in decades, keeping in mind that while she may be game, she is also an eighty year old lady.
Since her last restoration, Dorade has been sailed hard in multiple regattas under stressful conditions, with 20+ knots of breeze in lumpy seas. She performed well, but after each race, she had the luxury of returning to the dock, where she could be cleaned up, dried off, and prepared for the next day. A simple proposition compared to three or more continuous weeks at sea.
In addition to the engine installation now underway, other installations will follow, including heating, water making and cooking. Safety equipment and communication capabilities need to be addressed along with stowage capacity and allocation. All this is in addition to the normal yearly preventive maintenance items.
After all of these tasks have been completed this winter, a period of sailing trials will follow in the spring. This in turn will be followed by a full campaign during the summer including the Maine Series. There are several over-night races in the early summer when the real off-shore testing begins, complete with cold conditions and decent breezes. The next phase of our plan calls for sailing Dorade to the Caribbean and back to Newport for the Bermuda Race in which she did so well back in the thirties. After Dorade’s European tour, she could head off for the Trans-Pac.
With the help and support of her crew and keepers, Dorade is heading off on some magnificent sailing adventures. I am privileged to be one of your shipmates.