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San Francisco’s Dorade Appointed Honorary Flagship of California

September 24, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

What becomes a legend most? When that legend is the classic ocean going yachtDorade (, the answer is being named “The Honorary Flagship of California.” This evening in a private ceremony at San Francisco’s storied St. Francis Yacht Club, Dorade owners Matt Brooks and wife Pam Rorke Levy will be honored with an official proclamation declaring that fact signed by California Governor Jerry Brown.

“To us, every day is ‘Dorade Day,'” said Brooks. “We’re delighted to see that the Golden State has honored us by declaring today, officially,Dorade Day.”

Dorade (, a narrow-beamed wooden boat built in 1929, won the 2013 TransPac Race from Long Beach to Honolulu on corrected time of 132 hours, 20 minutes, and 55 seconds, beating her closest competitor, Roy Disney’s Pyewacket, by just over two and a half hours. She also took top honors in her class. The victory comes 77 years after the first time Dorade won the TransPac race in 1936, when she was owned by San Francisco’s James Flood. Dorade‘s victory in 1936 helped put the fledgling St. Francis Yacht Club on the map in 1936, and she did the club proud once again in 2013 by flying under the St. Francis colors.

Brooks and Levy bought Dorade in 2010 and spent more than a year refitting it for ocean racing, with the goal of repeating the many races the boat won in the 1930s, a record of wins that stands unbeaten today. They entered the 83-year-old Dorade in the TransPac against the advice of many in the sailing community, who view the boat as an irreplaceable piece of maritime history. Sea trials and constant refinement of the boat’s systems have been ongoing over the past three years.

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