Author: Tom Darling

Community

An IOD Reborn

By Tom Darling

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Jim, Clem (and Tom’s) Wonderful IOD Adventure Story and photos by Tom Darling     I told him not to do it. In fact, I begged him to reconsider. In February 2021, my good sailing friend of forty years, Clem Wood, called to ask my opinion on his pending choice of a new boat for his Stonington, Connecticut syndicate to replace the J/70 that they’d sailed the prior six years. I had to bite my tongue. He…

Yachting History

A Century of Sixes

By Tom Darling

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In Oyster Bay, New York, in the basement of the oldest yacht club in America, born 1871, there is a vault. In that vault and on the paneled walls of that club is the history of the oldest, most venerable racing class on the continent, in photo and half model. The club is the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club. The class is the International Six Metre. From the 19th century roots of the boat that evolved into the…

The S & S Twins: Finisterre and Fidelio Part II: Finisterre and the American Centerboarder

By Tom Darling

In Part I, we introduced the “S & S Twins,” my name for the two Olin Stephens 39-foot designs, Finisterre and Fidelio. This month, we put into perspective what was so unique about this Sparkman & Stephens design, and what the meticulously maintained sistership is doing on her Maine home waters. Finisterre was the most famous offshore design of the 1950s, Carleton Mitchell’s S & S equivalent of what Dorade and Stormy Weather were to the young…

Racing

The S & S Twins: Finisterre and Fidelio

By Tom Darling

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Part I: Carleton Mitchell: John Muir of the Caribbean, Bermuda Race Legend By Tom Darling This is the tale of two boats: one famous, one not. For these two classic cousins, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. That is how the career of classic boats can be. One boat, the rock star design of the 1950s, was the winner of three successive Bermuda Races, a feat never done before or after….

Community

Model Classics, Instant Classic

By Tom Darling

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Radiosailing Takes Off with DragonFlite 95 at Nantucket Race Week 2020 By Tom Darling This piece brings you something old and something brand new, but both right in line with the sailing history of their day. In the deep summer of COVID, I stumbled into a mega-trend of sailors trying to figure out how to have fun with boats in the age of masks, social distancing, and PODS. It is sailing gone “small.” Bring your beach chair,…

Yachting History

Alerion: Past, Present and Future Perfect Part II: The Big Bird Rises: Alerion III Reborn in New England (1977 to present)

By Tom Darling

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By Tom Darling In Part I of this article (windcheckmagazine.com/article/alerion-past-present-and-future-part-1-whats-an-alerion-1913-1977-perfect/), we detailed the design and early history of Alerion III, Capt. Nathanael Herreshoff’s favorite of dozens of personal boats. When we left Captain Nat in the 1920s, he had retired to Florida in an Alerion derivative named Pleasure and spent his eighties going into the Great Depression. He was on the sidelines for the rise of the mighty J Boats, designed by new blood like Burgess and…

Checking In

DragonFlite 95 Debuts Model Boat Racing at Nantucket Race Week

By Tom Darling

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By Tom Darling Planning for post-Covid racing has been a major challenge in the current period of mask-wearing and social distancing. One direction that sailors have taken is model boat racing, radio-controlled. One-design and offshore sailor Carolyn Grant Zarella’s brainstorm for Nantucket Race Week was to gather as many as a dozen new model racers from among the sponsors and supporters of Race Week, put them into a 950mm plastic model yacht, and see where it led….

Yachting History

Alerion: Past, Present and Future Perfect Part I: What’s an Alerion? (1913 – 1977)

By Tom Darling

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By Tom Darling Imagine, if you would, if there were a television game show called “Herreshoff Jeopardy.” You know, the one where you begin your answer with “What is…?” Here, the category is “American Daysailers of the 20th Century.” The game goes like this: “The category is Herreshoff daysailing boats. For $100, this 26-footer was launched in 1913 and sailed for a dozen years, spawning numerous offshoots such as the Newport 29, the Buzzards Bay 25, and…

Racing

Dolphin and Mischief: The Herreshoff Twins and Their Rogue Cousin

By Tom Darling

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By Tom Darling Two classic Herreshoff designs, conceived Thanksgiving 1913 and born July 4, 1914. On August 18, 2019, they met on a racecourse for the first time in their sailing histories. This is the story of “The Herreshoff Twins,” a pair of Newport 29s named Dolphin and Mischief, and of their younger distant cousin, Rogue. The Twins are two of four Newport 29s, 35’ 6” overall, over eight tons displacement, and clouds of sail for inshore…

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