ANTHONY (A.D.) BLAKE
BOLERO, Crossing the finish line off St. David’s Light, Bermuda, 1956
Oil 24" x
Known simply in the offices of
storied yacht designers Sparkman and Stephens as “hull # 711,” the
73’6”, 93,800 pound yawl that slid down the ways in 1949 for owner John
Nicholas Brown, made a splash in the world of yacht racing that still
resounds today. Christened Bolero, she went on a tear on the racing
circuit finishing first in 7 out of 11 ocean races.
In 1956, she
was purchased by Swedish yachtsman Sven Salen, who entered her in that
year’s Newport to Bermuda Race as a leg of her delivery to Europe. All
was well until 25 miles from Bermuda, when a gale blew through, blowing
two of Bolero’s jibs out and finally, and more frighteningly, breaking
the headstay turnbuckle. The alert Swedish crew managed to jury rig a
new headstay from the wire jib halyards.
Blake has shown her under that
jury rig plowing into heavy seas off St. David’s Light. Despite her
troubles, Bolero was again the first yacht to finish the race.
Today she’s still turning heads
on the classic boat racing circuit after a complete restoration by a
syndicate headed by well-respected yachtsman, Ed Kane. Her original
transom can be seen mounted on the wall of the Bolero Grill at the New
York Yacht Club’s Newport, Rhode Island Harbour Court station.
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