• The Furthur Adventures Of Merlin

    On her 1st East Coast outing, the legendary Merlin competed in the 278 nm race from St. Petersburg to Habana Race
    with a 1 day 19 hours and 31 minute routing of the fleet. Not bad for her debut under the new ownership group Merlin Yacht Racing.

    Merlin's Crew: Neal Burns, James Clappier, Benjamin Givens, David Kilcoyne, Vladimir Kulinichenko, Mark Liebel, Steve Liebel,
    Brian Malone, Chip Merlin, Dan Peckham, Kathleen Robinson, Lin Robinson, Chris Watts, Will Welles

    all pic courtesy Merlin Yacht Racing

    Team manager Brian Malone, was especially proud considering that the crew had only one half day of practice sailing together
    before the race, so this was a complete shake down for boat and crew. “Conditions varied from 0-15 knots and We used every
    sail on the boat,” Brian reports “ And she handled a points of sail magnificently. It is very impressive how she generates her own apparent wind”
    Now it is a given that the race itself was not much of a barometer with just 21 boats in attendance, a big drop off from last
    year’s rejuvenation run with 75 boats in attendance, but it did give new owner Chip Merlin confirmation that they did the right thing.
    “I would say Chip couldn’t be happier” explains Brian “He has followed the boat’s achievements over the years and he is excited about her future”.

    The race you probably never heard of Ragata del Sol al Sol Clicky

    And her future looks busy indeed. Her next race, the 456nm race from St Pete’s to Isla Mujeres off the Cancun peninsula, “Ragata del Sol al Sol”
    comes at the end of April before the embark on the Newport to Bermuda Race in the middle of June. Then she will sail back to Newport and put
    on a truck and be hauled to Chicago for the Race to Mackinac. She will then get hauled to the West Coast and do some coastal events before
    the 50th Edition of the Transpac. “ She has a lot of history in that race, and for her to compete in the 50th running was just meant to be” Brian adds.

    Joining Merlin for this epic tour du force is long time Merlin crewmember and Santa Cruz resident Chris Watts, along with new guy on the bow,
    James Clappier. James and Brian go way back, and James had long desired to sail on Merlin, and it just so happened that he was available,
    able to do deliveries and work on the rigging. “It’s a bucket list itinerary sailing on a legend” James states “I couldn’t be happier, the ownership
    is great and they intend to put some financial backing into her, with new sails, foils and gear to bring her up to her potential”

    Bowman James Clappier, seen grinding, brings some of that Norcal Home Grown essence to the program.

    James (aka Hippie James) owns a Santa Cruz 27, named Furthur, in honor of the Legendary Magic Bus owned by Ken Kesey and
    The Merry Pranksters. And if you recall Merlin’s “Cosmic Flush” from her record 1977 run in the Transpac in this article by the late
    Shimon van Collie in this recollection titled:
    “MERLIN - Bill Lee’s Magic Bus” http://www.fastisfun.com/wizwisdom/magicbus.html, You would be right in assuming
    that there are more cosmic days ahead in Merlin’s future
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Merlin Heads East started by Photoboy View original post