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Global Solo Challenge - Which boats were designed by Sparkman & Stephens?

by Global Solo Challenge 25 May 06:39 PDT
Sparkman & Stephens “Dorade” © Global Solo Challenge

Amongst the entrants for the Global Solo Challenge (GSC), you may have noticed a yacht to be skippered by Daffyd Hughes, an S&S 34.

One of the smallest yachts in the fleet that will set off on the circumnavigation next year. This yacht is only 34 feet in length, but it was designed by the great designer Olin Stephens of the American Company Sparkman & Stephens.

We go back to 1929 when a young Stephens designed Dorade, his first ocean-going yacht design. Launched in 1930, in that year, this yacht came second in the Bermuda Race. It then went on to win the following year's Transatlantic Race and, for good measure, whilst it was in Europe, the Fastnet Race as well.

The point I am making is that at the time, Dorade was considerably smaller than the rest of the fleet and won that Transatlantic Race in real and corrected time by a margin of days, despite people at the time saying it was too small and too fragile to enter the race, so please do not ignore Dafydd's yacht in the upcoming GSC, as it may be a strong contender. Read Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's words in support of Dafydd Huges' campaign.

Stephens went on to be involved in the design of the J boat 'Ranger' of the 1930s, and then personally designed eight out of the nine winning America's Cup boats between 1937 and 1980.

The S&S 34, a masthead sloop, was first built in 1969 with the first boat launched called Morning Cloud. This new yacht's owner was Sir Edward Heath, who, at the time, was the leader of the British Parliamentary opposition party, and who went on to become British Prime Minister.

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