Chinook (sail number NY-48), ex Pauline, is a NY 40, one of the so-called ‘Fighting Forties’. A total of 14 examples of this class were commissioned between 1916 and 1926 by members of the New York Yacht Club. Just four are still afloat, including Rowdy (1916) and Marilee (1926). The latter and Chinook are the only gaff cutter-rigged versions. Chinook was built simultaneous to 11 other identical NY40s in just six months between 1915 and 1916.
Purchased in March 2010 in Newport by Irish skipper Jonathan Greenwood and Sandra Ugolini, Chinook was cargo- shipped to Genoa and then Bizerta in Tunisia. Her next owner, Graham Walker, who had already won the Trofeo Panerai on several occasions with Rowdy, sold her on to London-based Paolo Zannoni, who sailed her to victory in the Vintage category of the 2014 Trofeo Panerai.
We see Kira as a little piece of sailing history, and we have trawled back through the decades to follow her progress from first build.
Kira’s first owner was Bob Stone, an American shipping industry executive and later to become Commodore of the New York Yacht Club. She was named Aquene (a native American name meaning ‘peace’).
Mr Stone was an illustrious figure in sailing circles. He interrupted his Harvard studies to join the US Army in World War II. He served in the Philippines, overseeing landing craft operations and securing harbours. He told his family about how he was given the strange duty of caring for General Douglas MacArthur’s yacht in Sydney Harbour. As Commodore of the New York Yacht Club in the early 1980s, Mr. Stone helped persuade the club’s officials not to sue their Australian rivals over the boat they built for the America’s Cup. When the United States lost to Australia in 1983 for the first time in more than 130 years, Robert Stone ”calmed the waters,” and helped ensure that the Americans accepted defeat gracefully.
In a 1989 letter to subsequent owner Lou Daley, he wrote:
“You will be interested to know I did the Bermuda Races of 1972 1974 and 1976 in (Kira) and went through Hurricane Agnes in 1972, when we had the anemometer at 60 or 65 for a solid 3 hours then it blew the whole fitting off the top of the mast. On that particular race was also one of the hairiest experiences I ever had on the water in that we were knocked flat by a rogue wave but fortunately were going very fast, about 9 knots, and took the wave at about a 45 degree angle, so came through and she popped right up again with very little damage except that it pulled the reefed mainsail off the mast. Kira is a very tough boat; you can go out in any sort of weather and feel very comfortable.”
In the early 80s she was sold to Harry Johnson, a West Coast record producer. By this time her name was ‘Andiamo’, Italian for ‘Let’s go’! Her onboard parties in Sausolito became legendary.
Owner number three was Lou Daley who bought her in 1988. He shipped her from San Diego to Hong Kong where she underwent extensive refurbishment including a new teak deck, sanded and caulked by hand. While in Asia she visited the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. She competed in a number of China Sea Regattas and in the Kings Cup in Phuket, coming second in class in consecutive years.