By Chris Museler
“We have 100 years of naval
architecture on our wall,” Paul Doughty, the curator of the Royal
Bermuda Yacht Club, told me as he led me on a tour of models and
in the club’s eight-decade-old clubhouse . The club itself was founded
in 1844, making it one of the earliest yacht clubs in the Western
sailors have had their own look at the collection as they streamed
the model room to sort out their passports with Bermuda immigration
and customs agents. Displayed around the entry door are many models
– some of Bermuda’s unique fitted dinghies and other local boats,
but most of Bermuda Race winners since the first race in 1906. Doughty
pointed out his favorites, starting at lower part of the wall:
“These were all schooners. Dervish here from 1907 is absolutely
gorgeous. Then there’s Ted Hood’s Robin, the 1968 winner.”
The Royal Bermuda
Yacht Club’s wall of history has models of early Bermuda Race winners
(left) and Bermuda’s unique fitted dinghies (right).
guided my eye to 1972 winner Noreyma, a Swan 48 that was the
third winner with a modern fin keel, after the Cal 40 Thunderbird
in 1966 and Carina in 1970. The Cal 40 is back in force, and
of course Carina won again in 2010.
standing out like a black sheep, was Holger Danske, a
with a full keel. “Holger Danske was a well-sailed boat with
a great crew,” said Sheila McCurdy, Commodore of the Cruising Club
of America. “Some are confused as to how older boats can win the Bermuda
Race. But if the rule is fair, it’s all about the crews. Even today,
you look at these boats and nobody agrees what the best shape is. If
the race’s rating rule works, it almost shouldn’t matter.”
artifact in the RBYC collections is a silver St. David’s Lighthouse
trophy. First awarded in 1946, the St. David’s trophy, like the Gibbs
Hill trophy, is a keeper, but this one joined the RBYC collection.
What a fine piece of silver to go along with a winning half model!