|Profile, sail plan and interior arrangement drawing of Checkmate|
The original Checkmate is sometimes confused with the Peterson 55 Bullfrog, which she campaigned alongside in the 1982 Clipper Cup, where Checkmate managed a podium position in Class B (third) after Bullfrog broke her forestay while leading overall and in class (finishing fourth in class). Bullfrog was later taken over by Livingston and his Checkmate team, and was renamed accordingly. This later Checkmate sailed with great success in the 1984 Clipper Cup, finishing fourth overall (1/1/3/1/15) and was a member of the winning USA White team, alongside Tomahawk and Camouflage, and is currently for sale here.
|Checkmate on her launching day, 7 April 1978 (photo courtesy Doug Peterson Collection)|
|Checkmate leads Zamazaan and Great Fun during the 1982 Big Boat Series in San Francisco (Yachting magazine cover, photo J Eisberg, Doug Peterson Tribute page)|
"A change of pace for Ray ‘Hollywood’ Roberts who has chartered the 40 year-old IOR Doug Peterson designed Checkmate, built in San Diego by the famous Carl Eichenlaub, but updated in 2000 to make her a fast, comfortable boat. Roberts sailed Hollywood Boulevard, his Farr 55, to 36th overall for fifth in Division 1 in the Sydney Hobart last year, then placed fourth overall in the Brisbane Gladstone Race.... Roberts says Checkmate is a special (yacht), one of the last cold-moulded wooden boats. "It’s a showpiece and with her age allowance, we could be half a chance.”
|Checkmate sailing upwind (above and below) after a recent restoration and while still based in the US|
|Checkmate after a recent restoration and while still based in the US|
All the work paid off, and Checkmate won all the handicap prizes (IRC, ORCi and PHRF), and finished fifth on line (in the 17 boat fleet). Spies commented afterwards that "It was our first Australian race, after the disappointment of missing the Hobart. We backed ourselves. The competition wasn’t soft. Nine Dragons is an Australian champion. It wasn’t ideal conditions for our boat, but the boat lived up to our expectations – more than! Having run grand prix boats for 30 years, with a world champion crew, a mix of youth and experience, Checkmate was vastly different. It’s a 40 year-old timber boat, not carbon fibre. She’s a lot harder to steer, but more forgiving in motion, not as hard on the body. It was nice to have a hot meal and good sleep. We actually had an oven! It just proves the IRC rule is doing its job".
|Checkmate of Hollywood on her way to overall honours in the 2017 Pittwater to Paradise Race (photo Sailworld/Howard Wright IMAGE Professional Photography)|
Regatta information and results here.