“I hope you have about 10,000 pages, because I could fill them, I can tell you that.” – RC Keefe, St. Francis Yacht Club Commodore 1979
“I think of Dorade as the yacht that really put the St. Francis Yacht Club, here in San Francisco, on the map. Nobody knew much about St. Francis except a few people in San Francisco. One of them was a fellow by the name of Jim Flood. Flood was a man whose family went way back in the history of the state of California, and in 1935 he went to Sparkman and Stephens to have a new boat designed and built, specifically for the 1936 Honolulu Race. He went off on a trip to Europe and was gone for two months, and when he came back to New York he stopped to see Olin and Rod. They didn’t have time to design him a boat for the Honolulu Race, but Olin owned Dorade and would sell her to Jim Flood, as he thought that Dorade would be a very principal competitor in the race. Flood bought Dorade from Olin Stephens in 1935 in New York and Rod supervised the loading of her onto a freighter in New Jersey in 1935 and she came out through the Panama Canal, on the deck of a freighter, to San Francisco. From there, Flood got her into sailing condition and Rod Stephens came out to San Francisco to make sure everything was as it should be. At that time, Rod didn’t jump on an airplane, it was by train to San Francisco; five days there and another five days back to New York. It was quite a feat.
“Flood won the Honolulu Race with Dorade flying the St. Francis burgee, and that really put the St. Francis Yacht Club into the public eye. He won the Honolulu Race again in 1939, and just before the war broke out Jim Flood sold Dorade to one of his crewmembers. When the war broke out almost everything stopped with principal yacht racing everywhere.
“Dorade was a benchmark at which all other racing yachts for years were compared to. What Matt Brooks has done has brought that lore to the point where it’s not lore anymore, it’s her.
“If Dorade was to win the Transatlantic Race this year, after winning the Transpacific Yacht Race, then I think it’s time for the boat to be picked up and put in the Smithsonian. She could be there for a thousand years.”