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Posts Tagged ‘Transpac’

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Many have called Bill Lee’s Merlin the boat that launched the West Coast’s love of high speed downwind sailing.  The ultra-narrow icon has been bastardized and frankenboated to near death (thanks Leif Beiley) in her recent years of Great Lakes racing, but with her long-awaited return to a Santa Cruz that once loved and worshipped her, all that is about to change.  For a beautifully written look at the full and fascinating history of one of the sport’s most important milestones, click over here.  Here’s the arrival report from SA’er “sleddog”, from the thread. Photos from the same dog.

At 9:30 this morning, with police escort lights flashing, Driver Mike with MERLIN in tow made the last turn, gently bottomed out on the boatyard hill, and MERLIN was home.
Mike had been delayed at Donner Pass Ag Station when an inspector, doing his job, had found a Zebra Mussel infestation in the keel box and canting mechanism and quarantined the boat.  It took Mike 4 hours to find someone who would hot pressure wash the boat….but he seemed in good humor and no worse for wear, given the size and length of his eye catching cargo.
post-17096-0-51626300-1446061441Three of MERLIN’s original TransPac crew were on hand for her arrival:  Designer/builder Bill Lee, “Bosun” Dave Wahle, and Phil “Cosmic Flush” Vandenberg.  As MERLIN was backed into the boatyard for unloading by TraveLift, there was a brief moment of serendipity when MERLIN passed close astern of Bill Lee’s first ocean racing boat, the shoal draft, centerboard, John Alden designed, 38′ FRIDOLF, on which Bill crewed in Southern California in the mid-60′s, and later on Monterey Bay.
There’s a lot to be done to make MERLIN ocean worthy again.  First up is to locate a used TP-52 keel to replace the canting monstrosity. Bill has feelers out from Canada to Mexico.  The “leaky” canard trunk has to be cut out, and glassed over.  Even though Bill agreed the forward sloping, carbon fiber, cabin top is ugly, I doubt it is going anywhere soon. There are bigger fish to fry.   Ditto the ” MERLIN’S REATA”  graphics, a leftover from when she was sold to a Texas restauranteer.
Everyone was smiling this morning to see MERLIN back home. I’m sure there will be more stories to come


October 30th, 2015 by admin

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Driven in large part by one of SA’s closest friends, Renaud LaPlanche’s 6-month record-breaking campaign aboard the monster trimaran Lending Club helped cement the United States’ ascendency as one of the world’s preeminent multihull powers.  Along with Lloyd Thornburg’s busy Phaedo 3, Taylor Canfield’s US-One’s dominance of the M32 Series and now odds-on favorite status to win next year’s $1M World Match Racing Tour, and Oracle Racing “USA”‘s likelihood of taking home the Auld Mug, Lending Club has moved the goalposts for anyone looking to make a mark in outright speed under sail (or introduce huge numbers of people to the pointy end of the sport). For a wrap of their season, we go to Ryan (and be sure to follow as Ryan goes for doublehanded glory in the massive 21-boat fleet for the Transat Jacques Vabres next month).

After an action-packed 6 month charter, today the maxi-trimaran Lending Club 2 project has come to an end and we hand the boat back to its owner.  We knew from the start back in March that this was going to be a busy year, but I don’t think anyone realized how many people would come and see the boat or come sailing with us.

From the start we agreed we would have an open door policy and whenever possible we made the boat available for visits at the dock. Our skipper, Renaud invited all the Lending Club employees to come sailing and over 1000 of them took him up on the offer. We took children from sailing schools and students from all backgrounds and as young as 5 and 6 years old. We took hundreds of Lending Club guests and business partners in both New York and San Francisco. Everyone without exception had the opportunity to drive the boat if they wanted to and everyone came back to shore with a huge smile and an unforgettable souvenir.

We set three new world records in Europe, the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.

We made friends.

We had fun.

Heartfelt thanks to the entire team for working so hard; literally every single day for weeks on end and for taking such great care of all 1500+ guests. Thanks to the racing team who stepped up to the challenge and brought home three new records. Thanks to our technical partners Switlik, Marlow, Guy Cotten, Events Clothing and Underwater Kinetics who supported us from the start and finally a huge thanks to our leader Renaud Laplanche for making all this possible.

Here’s a short video that sums up the whole adventure in a few minutes, I hope you enjoy watching as much as we did living it.



September 17th, 2015 by admin

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Fresh off the obliteration of a decade-old Transpac record, Ryan Breymaier sat down with Mr. Clean for another of their excellent Skype chats about life, liberty, and the pursuit of speed.  Listen to the details of their incredible 3 day run from California to Hawaii, get the goss on their even crazier trip ahead – basically, a race back to Europe via the Panama Canal to get a few more records in before the Lending Club goes to her new owner. And perhaps most interestingly, listen to Ryan’s take on the major monohull records, and what kind of boat will be necessary for mono records to really start falling.

One of the brightest stars for the future of American sailing, and we’re lucky to get another great 36 minutes from him, with big thanks to Petey Crawford/Penalty Box Productions for the late night editing assist.


July 24th, 2015 by admin

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We dig this posterized shot of Manouch Moshayedi’s Bakewell-White 100 Rio shot yesterday cruising up Newport Harbor as she gets ready for her run at the Barn Door Trophy when the final Transpac gun sounds off tomorrow.  As required by the Transpac There’s no canting keel, powered ballast pumps, or powered winches for this bad boy, though there is a seriously stacked crew for this pure sailing machine.

In a world where it takes $35 million dollars and a diesel-burning 100-footer to beat a 7-year old record held by a 70 footer (by about 4%), and where both those records are a sad joke compared to what unpowered multihulls have been doing for a decade, we applaud Manouch’s purer goal, and we wish he and the crew the best of luck.

Track the fleet here, head over here to add a few views to the almost entirely unwatched video updates and highlights from the TPYC, and head here for the much busier SA thread.

And if you don’t get the title allusion, just remember: you’re never too old to be crazy. Thanks to Berkley Green at SoCalSailSport for the shot.

And look for onboard race reports from boat captain Keith Kilpatrick.


July 17th, 2015 by admin

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Rio 100 2

Thanks to income inequality and the booming markets, the maxi class continues to roll; Fresh off a huge acquittal in one of the biggest insider trading trials in years, Flash memory tycoon Manouch Moshayedi bought a motherfuckin’ boat, then made her a Transpac weapon.  Here’s the story from our friends at Doyle NZ.  Back to Eddie Murphy’s “Raw” for the title shout.

Following her major refit at Cookson’s, Rio 100 (ex. Zana/Konica Minolta/Lahana) is back on the water this week and she is raring to go. Purchased in 2014, the yacht has been redesigned and reconfigured by her Kiwi designer Brett Bakewell-White for use on the West Coast of the USA. “As part of her refit, Doyle Sails supplied her with a new set of Stratis carbon ICE sails, including a mainsail, two jibs, two reaching sails and two spinnakers,” says Mike Sanderson, Head of Sales at Doyle Sails NZ. “This was an exciting project for the Doyle team, particularly since Doyle NZ built so many sails for this boat during her previous life.”

Choosing a sailmaker was a key consideration for the refit. “Between the top sailmakers, there is really very little between the products, so we also looked closely at the customer service side in making our choice,” said Keith Kilpatrick, captain and project manager for the Rio refit. “I was very impressed with the Doyle operation. Just seeing it in action, and the hands on approach, reassured me that we would get the attention we needed for a programme like this; we felt that with other big sailmakers we would be just another customer. We are looking forward to seeing the sails in action in sail trials.”

Sail trials are scheduled for this week, with the upcoming Coastal Classic the yacht’s first official outing. The yacht will then be gearing up for the 2015 Transpac race, where the Barn Door Trophy is firmly in her sights.


September 18th, 2014 by admin

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The big trimaran wasn’t the only one doing some mid-ocean laminate repair during the Transpac.  From the crew of Phil and Sharon O’Niel’s Michigan-based TP52 NatalieJ:  ”It was three nights ago, and we had the A3 up with a tuck and were sending it!  Pitch-black, super scary and I was more than a little relieved when we got to see daylight this AM, even after noticing the crack” wrote navigator and repairman Bora Gulari.  ”Brian [Torresen – ed] and I got to work fixing the crack right away – still fighting to the end!”

NatJ sits second in her crowded class of 50-something rockets, at least according to the daily position reports, with first place Beecom starting to leg out.  The Michiganders didn’t notice quite the amount of debris that Lending Club did; “We’ve seen some debris but nothing too dangerous as of yet.  That’s if you ignore the giant green bioluminescent blob we almost hit in the dark a few days ago.  We assume that was a whale and it would have been bad.”


July 19th, 2013 by admin

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