Windrose may be the queen of 21st-century retro yachts. Her styling, by Gerard Dijkstra & Partners, captures the spirit of the early 20th century's Golden Age of Sail while sacrificing very little in speed, sail handling, pointing ability and comfort.
An experienced offshore sailor commissioned Windrose to race in classic yacht regattas and to break the 187-foot schooner Atlantic's record passage of 12 days, 4 hours, 1 minute and 19 seconds from New York to the Lizard in Great Britain. In May, Windrose succeeded, making the passage in 11 days, 10 hours, 25 minutes and 10 seconds at an average speed of 12 knots.
Such speed is the result of relatively light displacement, a powerful rig and intelligently distributed volume below the waterline. Dijkstra & Partners evaluated the hull in a test tank and the rig in a wind tunnel. Construction of Alustar aluminum alloy and cored furniture kept her displacement at a reasonable 145 tons. Pure cruising yachts of this size may displace as much as 100 tons more.
Dijkstra and the owner gave up a lot of waterline length for exquisite overhangs, but it's the only way to get the look they wanted. The ends are empty to reduce pitching, and they serve nicely as anchor points for the backstay, inner forestay, bowsprit and dolphin striker. Still, her DWL of 99 feet, 6 inches allows a theoretical hull speed of just under 13 1/2 knots at a speed/length ratio of 1.34. Her willingness to exceed this means Dijkstra got the shape right. At the light-air end of the graph, Windrose clocked 11 knots to windward in 8 knots of true wind during post-launch sea trials.
The carbon-fiber rig is as modern as the underbody. Although die-hard traditionalists will argue for gaff-headed main and foresail, this big-roach rig looks exactly right when Windrose is making knots in a fresh breeze.
Windrose will charter when she's not racing, and her crew should prepare for many tearful goodbyes when the guests have to leave. The interior is an inviting blend of white overhead and ceilings with mahogany furniture, and the accommodations remind me of a summer cottage at the beach. -D.C.
Contact: Holland Jachtbouw, (011) 31 75 614 9133;