Monday, September 15, 2008

Olin J. Stephens II, Yacht Designer, Dies at 100

VimOlin Stephens designed boats when boats were legends. His Dorade won the 1931 transatlantic race from Ambrose Light to Lizard Point and earned him a ticker-tape parade.

Our family bond with Stephens is Vim - the 12 meter sloop. Built for Vanderbilt in 1939 at Henry Nevins yard on City Island, she was a contender in the 1957 America's Cup revival. Its owner was John Mathews, for whose stevedoring company my grandfather Capt. George Washington Conk (U.S. Army, Ret.) worked on the Brooklyn waterfront. His friend Sven Petersen was charged with maintenance. Bus Mosbacher, later JFK's protocol chief, was the skipper.

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