Condor (yacht)

Condor (yacht)

The name of Killian Bush should be added to the associated names list,he was the person who was responsible for the building of the yacht at Mid Ocean Marine, Penryn.I was Managing Director in 1982 and i was also responsible for Shore Management. Dennis Connor was at the helm in the Isle of Wight round the island race,and managed to drive the yacht into a pebble bank,damaging the mast and the keel.Condors rival Kialoa won the race in the Maxi class. Robin Knox Johnson was also employed at the time as Managing Director of Troon Marina,another company in the Bob Bell Group. Unlike most composite yachts,Condor was built on a Male mould with a composite sandwhich consisting of Kevlar,balsawood core,and fibre glass. Mid Ocean Marine also built the Freedom32,and three Admirals Cup class racing yachts,56 feet,one of which,Victory was raced by Peter DeSavory.

Roy Gardner Ex Managing Director Mid Ocean Marine

Condor is a maxi sailing yacht designed for racing and built in 1981 at Penryn Ship Yard, UK. She was registered in Hamilton, Bermuda during her 7 year ocean racing campaign and her sail number is KB-80. She is not to be confused with her predecessor Condor of Bermuda (KB-78) (aka. Heath's Condor-K-707), also owned and campaigned by Bob Bell.

Condor was "probably the most famous Maxi ever, winning every major ocean racing event Twice" according to her present owners, Prosail, the overnight adventure charter outfit in Australia's Whitsundays on the Great Barrier Reef[1].


Condor campaigns

Associated with

Construction and materials

Condor was revolutionary both for having the largest (tallest) single spar mast in the world (at the time of her launch) and for being the largest of all the IOR Maxi fleet at that time. (Ongoing IOR rule changes allowed each new yacht to be slightly bigger than ones built under previous versions of the rating rules).

She was built from Kevlar and composite structures, with an aluminium space frame inside. She was the second yacht of this type to be built where the hull itself could not support the enormous loads generated by the huge mast and rig.

Unlike her predecessor, Condor of Bermuda, which was built of wood yet had (the world's first) carbon fibre rig, Condor's mast was aluminium. It was about 18% taller than her 'sistership's' mast (due to the additional loading permitted by the space frame) despite her hull being only 3 feet longer overall.

Both Condor and Condor of Bermuda were evenutally installed with Gardner 8LXB reserve engines, due to their reliability, and overall mass, which was a key consideration in IOR ratings at the time.

Condor was designed by legendary New Zealand boat designer Ron Holland; and was a near sistership to fierce rival, and Ron Holland masterpiece Kialoa.


Condor was a maxi yacht campaigning on the IOR Maxi Circuit from 1981 to approximately 1987.

In 1987, she was sold to Australian interests, where she continued to race for a time under the name Condor of Currabubula until she was retired from racing, and now resides in Airlie Beach, in the Great Barrier reef, chartering for overnight sailing adventures with several of her contemporaries for her present owners, ProSail. She still races today in Hamilton Island Race Week each year where individuals can charter a spot on board to compete in this annual event.

Notable features and events

  • Being built from Kevlar composite (a development from aluminium construction), with a space frame supporting a hollow hull (no internal reinforcement bulkheads) and the tension/compression loads of the mast and sails.
  • Winning every major yacht race twice.
  • Being the first private western vessel to sail (authorised) up the Yangtsee river since the beginning of communist rule in China.
  • Running aground in the Sydney to Hobart, and being awarded victory (line honours) by protest, over American Nirvana.
  • Snapping her titanium rudder in the 1984 Sydney to Hobart (a Condor won the '82, '83 and '86 'Hobarts')
  • Being fired upon by pirates in the Caribbean


  • The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 1983, 1986.
  • The Newport Bermuda Race (1986). This race was won with a spectacular lead of over 5 hours over the next maxi, Then Navigator Jon Barret, successfully negotiated an Eddy on the Gulfstream's southwestern side as the entire fleet had chosen a more northeastern route, allowing Condor to strike victory with such a considerable margin.
  • The Miami to Montego Bay Race (198? & 8?)
  • Hamilton Island Race Week(2010)
  • The Fastnet Race 1981, 1983?
  • The California Cup 1982
  • The Pan Pac Cup - Hawaii 19??
  • The Maxi World Series 198?, 198?.

Current location

Airlie Beach, QLD, Australia. Available for charter by present owners ProSail.


  1. ^ "ProSail Whitsundays". 2010-04-01. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 

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