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post #22 of Old 07-23-2013
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Re: Eighty-year old wooden full keel boat beats new "Interesting Boats" in Transpac

The crew of the Dorade should be rightly proud of their accomplishment. They sailed a really old (and lovingly restored) well and smartly. However, remember that in the end, it is a numbers game. At 254, Dorade was one of the slowest rated boats in the entire fleet (only two had higher ratings). Dorade’s number was over twice the ratings of the sleds like Pywackett and the other seventy footers. To put it in perspective, the lone J105 entry, with a fraction of Dorade’s waterline, rated a 233. The Elliott 100, the “scratch” boat finished in 6 days, 8 hours, Dorade did it in12 days 5 hours. The Jeaneau 44 which Dorade beat on straight time, finished 4th over-all on corrected time. A pretty heady accomplishment in its own right for a “production boat” to beat out all those racing sleds. Only the last two divisions (Dorade was in the last division) had “racer-cruiser” type boats. The rest of the fleet were pure sleds.

Having raced to Hawaii (2nd place ’08 PacCup), I can tell you, the race is more than just boat speed and ratings. It is a navigators and driver’s race. How good your navigator is in forecasting winds down course will determine your ultimate outcome (we had a professional weather forecaster as our navigator). After that, it is how good your helmsmen are (Not just your first or second drivers, but how good are your third and fourth ones.) Then there is “luck” – did you get “good” wind in the squalls, were you on port board when they hit? How much “battle damage” did the boat accumulate during the race and were you able to affect repairs without impacting speed? Ocean racing is pretty complicated and no single factor will bring you victory. That notwithstanding, those aerial shots of Dorade under a full suit of sails is a thing of beauty. I can watch it over and over.

George B
2000 Catalina 34 MkII
Alameda, Ca.
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