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., Penryn[Penryn, Cornwall
Owner(s)Bob Bell
Racing career
SkippersTed Turner
Crew membersDennis Conner
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).

She was built from kevlar and composite structures, with a Carbon Fiber 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) and heavy 8 cylinder 8LXB Gardner diesel engine, 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.

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 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, 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 the Hamilton Island Race Week each year where individuals can charter a spot on board to compete in this annual event.

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 ProSail.


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