The Pacific Cup Yacht Club (PCYC) has revealed the new Bill Lee “Wizard” Perpetual Trophy for the Best Corrected Performance by a Bill Lee designed boat. Sailed every other year since 1980, from San Francisco Bay to Hawaii, Bill Lee’s fabled 68 foot custom sled, Merlin, handily won the inaugural Pacific Cup, finishing an astounding 4 days and 700 miles ahead of the second boat.
“In creating this new perpetual trophy, we’re pleased to honor the significant contributions Bill Lee has made to the sport of ocean racing,” says PCYC Commodore Gary Troxel. “Lee’s development of Ultralight Displacement Boats (ULDBs) has enabled racers to enjoy days and days of downwind surfing on the way to Hawaii and influenced the design of new generations of ULDBs.”
Merlin held the elapsed Pacific Cup time record until 1994 when it was broken by the custom Wylie 70, Rage. However, Lee designed boats, including Santa Cruz 27s, 33s, 40s, 50s, 52s, and 70s have continued to be mainstays of the Pacific Cup, with many overall and division wins. In the double handed division, SC27s are particular favorites.
“I’ve always been pleased that the Pacific Cup race provides the opportunity for recreational entries as well as high performance teams,” said Lee. “It’s great to see current owners of so many of my designs still having fun racing to Hawaii.”
Bill ‘Fast is Fun’ Lee has just repurchased Merlin, trucking her from the Great Lakes back to Santa Cruz, California where she will be updated, hopefully in time for the 2016 Pacific Cup which starts on July 11, 2016.
- The Pacific Cup Yacht Club is responsible for organizing the biennial Pacific Cup, dubbed the “FUN race to Hawaii.” Since 1980, the Pacific Cup has been sailed from San Francisco Bay to Hawaii every other year, and since 1988 the finish has been at the warm and welcoming Kaneohe Yacht Club on the island of Oahu. With an emphasis on pre-race preparation for the 2070-mile race, PCYC’s volunteer membership has helped to ensure that thousands of racers have been delighted with their Pacific Cup experience. For more information about the Pacific Cup, visit PacificCup.org
by Leslie Richter, PCYC and sailingscuttlebutt.com