Condor (yacht)

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Condor, Holland 80 owned by Robert Bell, Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.png
Condor racing Miami–Nassau in 1983.
Other namesCondor II
Condor 2
Condor of Currabubula
Condor of Emsworth
Nation Bermuda
Sail noKB–80
Designer(s)Ron Holland
BuilderKillian Bushe at Kiwi Boats, U.K., PenrynPenryn, England
Owner(s)Bob Bell
Racing career
SkippersTed Turner
Notable victories1983 Sydney–Hobart (l.h.)
1986 Sydney–Hobart (l.h.)
1981 Fastnet Race (l.h.)
1983 Fastnet Race (l.h.)

Condor is a maxi sailing yacht designed for racing and built in 1981 by Killian Bushe at Kiwi Boats U.K.,in Penryn Penryn, England. 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]

Construction and materials[edit]

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).

The boat was constructed using kevlar and composite structures, with an Alloy space frame inside. She was the second yacht of this type to be built where the hull itself could 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. An 8 cylinder 8LXB Gardner diesel engine was installed, turning a 42 inch folding propeller, despite her hull being only 3 feet longer overall.

Both Condor and Condor of Bermuda were eventually installed with Gardner 8LXB reserve engines, due to their reliability, and overall mass, which was a key consideration in IOR ratings at the time. In 1993, the Gardener was replaced with a Perkins 6354 diesel. In 2007 she was fitted with a smaller Yanmar 4LHA which was replaced again in 2017 with the same model. Today she runs a 26" three bladed Hydralign feathering propeller.

Condor was designed by New Zealand boat designer Ron Holland.


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

In 1987, she was sold to Australian Grazier Tony Paola, 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, on the Great Barrier Reef, chartering for overnight sailing adventures with several of her contemporaries for her present owners, ProSail.

She still races today in Airlie Beach Race Week and Hamilton Island Race Week each year where individuals can charter a spot on board to compete in this annual events. She returned to racing in 2008.

Condors Sail wardrobe for most of its racing years was made by Hood Sails in Sydney. Ian Broad from Hood sailed extensively on the boat during the 1980s and has been making the charter sails for the boat since its arrival in the Whitsundays. During the 1990s several North sails were made for the boat.

Notable features and events[edit]

  • 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 Yacht Race, and being awarded victory (line honours) by protest, over American Nirvana.
  • Snapping her titanium rudder in the 1984 Sydney to Hobart.
  • Being fired upon by pirates in the Caribbean.


Current location[edit]

Airlie Beach, Australia Available for charter by present owners [url=].


  1. ^ "ProSail Whitsundays". 1 April 2010. Archived from the original on 12 August 2010. Retrieved 7 September 2010.