You learn about a boat quickly when the wind blows above 15 knots, and that’s what happened in St. Maarten over four days when several of us had our first sail aboard Dorade. But even before absorbing the dozens of sailing lessons the 82-year-old yawl had to teach us, we quickly discovered that we’d first have to get used to sharing this classic Sparkman & Stephens design every step of the way with the paparazzi.

Dorade reaching across Anguilla channel in Heineken Regatta 2012

Balanced nicely, Dorade reaches at 9-knots-plus in the Anguilla Channel. JAH photo

Maybe it’s not quite the same as dating Marilyn Monroe, but from the moment we tied up at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club dock before the 32nd Heineken Regatta, all cameras were trained on our slender 52-foot starlet. As dusk fell, ESPN’s Jo Ankier came down the dock with her crew to interview owner Matt Brooks and skipper Jamie Hilton under the lights on Dorade’s gleaming foredeck. The next day, Friday, Matt and his wife Pam Rorke Levy gave more interviews at the regatta press conference, one of which can be seen on the