Friday, March 23, 2012

Merv Wescoat's 5.2 Harpoon

Merv turned 85 this past January.  He started racing Moth Boats in the mid-1930s as a junior member of the old Evening Star Yacht Club.  ESYC was so named because it was founded by depression era, working class sailors who raced after work (when they had work) by the light of the stars.  Merv, thus, goes back to almost the start of Moth racing, and by virtue of growing up in Bungalow Park (the inlet section of Atlantic City, New Jersey) knew all of the founding members including Joel Van Sant. Merv only races his Moth a couple times a year now; he claims that he just can't go seven or eight back to back races like we do at the Mid-Winters anymore.  So instead he bought down the 5.2 meter Harpoon class sloop he and daughter Barb will campaign this spring at regattas near Ocala, FL.  Photo credits: Diaristwoman, IoW Len.

Merv Wescoat waiting to launch his boat at this year's Gulfport regatta.

The sail Nr 373 is the same one that Merv's first Moth Boat, The Juno, carried back in the 1930s.  Buckshot is also a reoccurring name which has graced several of Merv's Moths.  That's the dome of Tropicana Field (home field of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team) sticking up in the background.  Merv's at the tiller, his daughter Barb is forward tending the jib while Barb Parsons, in the center, holds on to a steadying can of beer.

Here's the Harpoon from the bow with a bone in her teeth..  Merv's obviously not afraid of sailing in a fair breeze.  I only hope that I'm that spry and daring if I make it to 85!

Even Isle of Wight Len is suitably impressed!

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