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Thread: Merlin Heads East

  1. #1
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Merlin Heads East

    Merlin, the legendary Transpac record setter built in a Soquel chicken coop has flown the coop. Again.

    It was just confirmed via creator and most recent owner, Bill Lee that the sale has finalize.

    When asked if he felt joy or sadness in her departure, Bill replied "Mission Accomplished"

    "We saved her from languishing in a barn in Milwaukee and brought her back, put her back in a fixed keel mode
    and raced her in the 40th anniversary of the 1977 record setting year."

    Merlin's new owner is William "Chip" Merlin from the Tampa Florida area, who has done quite a bit of east coast sailing, mostly in
    Annapolis, Maryland and Mobile, Alabama. His most recent program being the B-32 "Chips All In" sailing out of the Davis Island Yacht Club.

    Speaking with Merlin's new Project Manager, Brian Malone of North Sails, St Petersburg, Florida, you get a sense that this is the right place for her next chapter:

    "Chip has admired Merlin and the whole Merlin mystic for a very long time. He has expressed a desire to purchase her for some time, and now, the timing was right"

    The boat is currently getting ready for a cross country transport on the bed of a large transport semi.

    Her tentative schedule will be the St Petes to Havana Race followed by the St Pete's to Mexico Race, The Newport Bermuda and if all goes well, the 2019 Transpac!

    "We have bit of water depth problem here, and Merlin's draft is problematic for many venues" Indicates Brian

    Merlin has brought joy to many a sailor, in major offshore events as well as local beer can events
    where the door was always open to get people on the water. IMages above from a recent Saturday sail
    out of SCYC with kids from the local PCISA chapter. They all had a gas and will have memories that bring a smile to
    their faces for years to come!

    The 40th Anniversary Re-Christening in Santa Cruz brought many a fan and Merlin Family together for another round of joy!
    Last edited by Photoboy; 12-02-2017 at 08:55 AM.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  2. #2
    Damn it, meant to get to SCYC for one of those beer can events!

  3. #3

    Hope to meet Merlin on the east coast!

    I got to sail on her once in the Wednesday night races, and again on the delivery back from the Transpac!

  4. #4
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Merlin is all gift wrapped and ready for the trans-continental voyage to her new home in

    St Petersburg, Florida. More details on the new owner and the intended agenda HERE!

    Bon Voyage!

    all images © Ian Klitza

    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  5. #5
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    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”, You would be right in assuming
    that there are more cosmic days ahead in Merlin’s future
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Looks like she is good hands.

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