Boat Name: Sockeye
Sail: US 119
Year Built: 1978
Designer: Peter Norlin
Builder: Arne Jonsson, Spillersboda
Owner: Rainer Muller
History: Designed and built in Sweden for the Bassani brothers, Luca and Tony, who now own and run Wally Yacht. She is one of 4 boats from the same mold and was originally named ITA 72 Nuvolari, after Tazio Nuvolari, the famous Italian race car driver. Her debut came at the 1978 European Championships in Alassio, Italy, placing 4th of 13. The boat came to Seattle to compete in the 1979 World Cup, where she ended 8th of 25 and placed in the top 10 of every race - one of only 2 boats to do so. Nuvolari was at the abandoned 1981 World Cup, then received some modification to her freeboard, cockpit configuration, and both ends of the boat. The changes resulted in a 5th place of 30 entrants at the intense competition of the 1982 Europeans at Helsinki. The boat came to Newport, California for the 1983 Worlds, where she placed 4th of 15. Nuvolari was purchased from the Bassanis by George Schuchart at breakfast on the last day of the 1983 regatta, taken to Seattle and renamed Sockeye, an obvious rival to the then named US 116 Chinook - which are both sub-species of the famous Pacific Northwest salmon. Her next international regatta came at the Worlds at Cannes in 1985, where she placed a respectable 7th of 39. The boat then returned to Seattle, where she continues to do well locally, winning the 1997, 1998, and 1999 Sir Thomas Lipton Cups, as well as the 2002 North American Championships. Look for her to return to the race course in 2014 after some refinishing over the winter.

Photo Credit Sean Trew