Tuesday, May 19, 2009
23 March 09 Southern Star
BOAT: Southern Star
OWNER: Olivier Pitras
DESIGNER: William Tripp Design, Norwalk CT http://www.trippdesign.net/#/home
BUILDER: Stephens Marine, Stockton, CA http://www.shipbuildinghistory.com/history/shipyards/6yachtsmall/stephens.htm
LENGTH: 75 feet [ 23 meters]
Originally designed and built to triumph in the famed Newport to Bermuda Race, Southern Star IV has become an instrument of enlightenment. The idea back in the late 1960s was to take line honors with a rugged, fast, seaworthy yacht bigger than the rest. After just one race, the rules were changed, and Southern Star became obsolete. After crossing the Atlantic, she was donated to the applied physics department of Johns Hopkins University. After chartering in Europe for a while, the boat returned to the U.S..
Local resident Robert Morton, of Newport Biodiesel, remembers chartering the boat for the Centennial Tall Ships Festival in 1976- at that point she was still a U.S. flagged vessel. After that, it was back to Europe and out of sight – until recently.
About eight years ago French yachtsman Olivier Pitras took over the boat putting her into service as an adventure vessel. Sleek design and solid construction made her an ideal candidate for Arctic exploration. Now the vessel and her crew roam the world as an educational mission dedicated to awareness of the global warming predicament.
To leann more about this fascinating project go to:
www.69nord.com. Also see: newportbiodiesel.com