Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Celebrating American boats and teams in the 2017 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

by David Schmidt 25 Dec 2017 08:00 PST 26 December 2017
Comanche (USA) passing the Organ Pipes - 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race © Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo http://www.regattanews.com

One of the strange-but-reassuring things about my time studying abroad in rural Queensland, Australia, during my junior year of college was the fact that I could walk into almost any bar, of which there were plenty to choose from, and the vast majority of the staff and locals knew about the annual Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Mind you, these locals-wonderful people, the whole lot-weren't exactly up on their America's Cup history or their knowledge of the Whitbred Round the World Race (this was 1998), but they all knew about the famous Boxing Day Bash and its powerful televised imagery of choreographed teams doing racecourse battle amongst themselves and with Mother Nature. To say that this race commands a special gravity throughout Australia is akin to saying that the Super Bowl commands a passing interest amongst Americans.

This same gravitas affects spectators and sailors the world over, of course, and, given that this 630-nautica-mile race's reputation for thoroughly testing crews and boats alike en route to Tasmania, it's not surprising that world-class teams flying international flags travel DownUnder each year to measure-up against this epic endeavor.

North American offshore sailing interests are well represented this year, with five well-sailed and well-prepared American-flagged boats and their crews set to be on the December 26 starting line, including boats from both coasts and from two different eras.

Of these, Matt Brooks and Pam Rorke Levy's Dorade (16), which was built in 1929-1930 to a design by Olin Stephens (of Sparkman & Stephens fame), is the most famous and most decorated, however all of these teams are known nationally.

In addition to Dorade, this strong list includes Andrew and Linda Weiss's Sydney 43, Christopher Dragon (USA 4304); Joe Mele's Cookson 50, Triple Lindy (USA 61333); Christopher Sheehan's Xp 44 Warrior Won (USA 60564), and David and Peter Askew's Volvo Open 70 Wizard (USA 7000; nee Groupama 4).

While each of these teams has won more than their share of racecourse hardware from other regattas, all racers know that each course holds its own secrets that are sometimes only revealed with hard-won experience. To this end, Joe Mele and company are the only American-flagged team to have previously sailed the Sydney Hobart together, having competed in 2016 aboard Mele's Swan 44 MKII of the same name, not his current (and considerably quicker) Cookson 50.

And while LDV Comanche (nee Comanche) is no longer an American-owned boat, she will benefit from Stan Honey's (USA) masterful work at the nav station, which has allowed the boat to set the course record in both the Newport Bermuda and Transpac races, in addition to earning line honours in the 2015 Sydney Hobart Race.

Sail-World.com wishes all teams competing in the 2017 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race safe and speedy passage to the Hobart finishing line, while the Seattle-based satellite office in particular wishes the American-flagged contenders great luck and success on their journeys south.

Related Articles

SoCal 300 returns to California Offshore Race Week
San Diego Yacht Club and Santa Barbara Yacht Club are proud to co-host their signature offshore race San Diego Yacht Club and Santa Barbara Yacht Club are proud to co-host their signature offshore race of the summer, the SoCal 300, the Southern California leg of the California Offshore Race Week. Posted on 12 May
American Magic, One Design & record-breaking news
Latest newsletter from Sail-World's David Schmidt in the USA January 17, 2021 wasn't a good day for the American Magic syndicate, which suffered a boat-breaking capsize. Many people feared the worst for American Magic, which, despite the New York Yacht Club's impressive legacy, was in their first Cup campaign. Posted on 11 May
Barnes and Dallman-Weiss on their 470 campaign
A Q&A with Nikki Barnes and Lara Dallman-Weiss on earning their berth to the Tokyo 2021 Olympics Few recent Olympic trials have been tougher than the multi-year battle to determine which Women's 470 team would represent the USA at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Posted on 11 May
Hello, my old friend…
So I put the word out... it got heard… and how! So I put the word out back in 52 pick up. At any rate, it got heard… And how! Posted on 9 May
Linda Ambrose and Marty McKenna on the J/70 NAs
Linda Ambrose and Marty McKenna on the 2021 J/70 North American Championship I checked in with Linda Ambrose, who serves as the AYC's Harborside Director, and Marty McKenna, who serves as the regatta's event chair, via email, to learn more about this exciting championship-level One Design regatta. Posted on 6 May
In conversation with Jelte Liebrand
The tech-savvy navigation entrepreneur savvy navvy is the boating app that puts all your essential marine information in one place: tidal graphs, weather forecasts, automatically updated chart data, routing, GPS tracking, marina information and more. We spoke to founder Jelte Liebrand... Posted on 6 May
Gladwell's Line: Pressing ignition on pro-sailing
The sail racing world is spluttering back into life after over 12 months of being hostage by COVID The sail racing world is spluttering back into life after over 12 months of being hostage to the COVID pandemic - here's a look at how SailGP and the America's Cup coped, plus the 2024 Olympic event quandary. Posted on 6 May
How terribly fitting - ISOLAtion
And such good use of time, too! As a word, ISOLA could mean a lot of things And such good use of time, too! Now as a word, ISOLA could mean a lot of things. Obviously there's ‘island' in Italian, and it's also a girl's name as well, which are all very fitting when it comes to boats... Posted on 5 May
Steve Bourdow on the 2021 Moore 24 Nationals
An interview with Steve Bourdow on the 2021 Moore 24 Nationals I checked in with Steve Bourdow, who serves as fleet captain of the Southern California Moore 24 class, via email, to learn more about the 2021 Moore 24 Nationals (May 7-9), which are being hosted by the Santa Cruz Yacht Club. Posted on 4 May
Alternate reality
Is the Paris 2024 10th medal hammering a square peg in a round hole? This time 40 years ago the drummer Nick Mason released an album called Fictitious Sports. As with his band Pink Floyd, Hipgnosis were called upon for the album art, creating the image you see above, which seemed apt as an intro for this editorial. Posted on 3 May
Savvy Navvy 2021 SW FOOTER v2Gul 2020 FOOTERHighfield Boats - SW - FOOTER