The Long and Short of The Transatlantic Race

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The 2,800-mile Transatlantic Race 2015 has drawn entries ranging from classic yachts to modern technical marvels, crewed by sailors with a wide variety of backgrounds and experience. Each entered yacht is assigned to one of three starts (June 28, July 1 and July 5) that are geared toward having all boats arrive at the finish off Plymouth, England, in close proximity to each other with the expectation of finishing in 15 to 20 days.

The 13 smaller vessels will take the first start, although one entry is an anomaly in both size and pedigree: the 140-foot-long, twin-masted schooner Mariette of 1915. Designed by the legendary Nathanael Green Herreshoff and built by the world-renown Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. (now the Herreshoff Museum in Bristol, RI), she is entered in the Transatlantic Race 2015 as a celebration of her 100th birthday. (She also competed in the Transatlantic Race 1997.)

For Two Teams, the TR2015 is a Family Affair

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One of the greatest rewards of participating in the sport of sailing is becoming part of the larger sailing community: a group united by a shared love of the sea and the varied forms of sailing that take place on it. For some lucky sailors, that community includes family, and for the Transatlantic Race 2015, at least two fathers are cherishing the fact that they will share the challenge of sailing 2,800 nautical miles across the ocean with their offspring.

Bill Hubbard and his son Will Hubbard (both New York, N.Y.) will co-skipper the Reichel/Pugh 56 Siren, which will start off Newport’s Castle Hill Light on July 1 during the second of three staggered starts and begin the journey to the race’s finish at The Lizard, the southernmost point in England. This will be the third Transatlantic Race for the Hubbards, who previously sailed the 2005 and 2011 editions.

“I am incredibly lucky to be able to have this experience with him,” said Will Hubbard of racing with his father. “It’s special; not too many people get to do this at all, much less a couple of times.” Hubbard counts six Newport Bermuda Races, The Rolex Sydney Hobart Race and The Rolex Fastnet Race among the distance races that have factored into the 10,000+ nautical miles he and his father have sailed together. 

When asked why the two were doing the Transatlantic Race for a third time, Will Hubbard laughed: “Why not! We’ve been lucky the last two times, managing to do well in our class both times. We hope to do it again.”



Dorade’s Quest to Repeat her 1931 Transatlantic Race Victory

NEWPORT, R.I. (June 4, 2015) – In late June, one of sailing’s most celebrated yachts will attempt to retrace the steps of her first, and most significant, victory. The 52-foot yawl Dorade, owned by Pam Levy and Matt Brooks (Tiburon, California, USA), will join 40 other boats competing in the Transatlantic Race 2015, which starts off Newport, R.I., and finishes off the southwestern coast of England.

Dorade, the seventh design from the Sparkman & Stephens design shop, was barely a year old when Olin and Rod Stephens and a crew of five sailors, including their father, started the 1931 Transatlantic Race off Newport, R.I., bound for Plymouth, England, 2,800 miles away. The trip took just over 17 days. Dorade was the first boat to finish and the race’s overall champion on corrected time.

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Dorade present and past. (Photos courtesy of Dorade “Return to Blue Water”)

For the Stephens brothers, it was a transformative moment: in the coming years, they would each take on primary roles in the development of the sport. Dorade would make her own wake as well, stringing together an impressive, unparalleled for the time, series of victories on the East and West Coasts of the United States and in Europe.

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