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Tuesday, November 30, 2010
On July 21, 1931, a sailing yacht named Dorade crossed the finish line a full 2 days ahead of the fleet of larger yachts competing in the Transatlantic Yacht Race of that year. This was obviously a major boost for a young company with a fledgling young designer named Olin Stephens, age 23 at the time.
The boat was built by the Minneford Yacht Yard of City Island, New York. She was commissioned by Olin's father, Roderick Stephens, Sr. Construction oversight was by Olin's younger brother Rod.
Part of the success of that Transatlantic Race was the northerly course taken, albeit with risks from icebergs. This is known as the "great circle" route, the shortest distance between Newport, Rhode Island and Plymouth, England. Here's a chart showing Dorade's course against her competitors. Double click for bigger view.
Dorade crew in England (prior to shaving!).
Having endured 2 years of the Great Depression, New York was looking for any excuse for a celebration so after winning the Fastnet Race as a follow up to the Transatlantic Race, the crew of Dorade was treated to a press conference at City Hall, followed by a ticker tape parade up Broadway.
Here's an image of the crew at City Hall.
And here's a shot of the ticker tape parade.
And an image of a special "Welcome Home Dorade Cew" ribbon. In the image of the crew at City Hall you can see some of the men wearing these ribbons.
And the plans.
And the rest as they say, is history.