Mercury Class Yacht Racing Association

Sausalito News, Volume LV, Number 16, 18 April 1940 

Martinsen Launches New Bear Boat; Mercury Class Popular, Says Nunes

Launching of the “Huckleberry Finn,” a sleek, black-hull-ed Bear Class boat, took place Saturday at the Nunes Bros. Boat Building plant, with Mrs. Harold Martinscn, wife of the owner, ‘‘Marty” Martinson, trans-pacific skipper of the "Namsang,” officiating with the champagne bottle. Activity at the Nunes plant is at its height at this time, as orders for the popular Bear Class boat, continue to pour in, and according to Ernie Nunes, over 24 Mercury Class kits have been sold since Ithe first of the year to boat enthusiasts from Alaska to Mexico\City, in addition to hulls which are being completely built al the plant.

Sausalito News, Volume 56, Number 9, 27 February 1941

Nunes Bros. Ships ‘Mercury’ (Mass Boat to East Coast for Induction Into Famous Fleet

Local sailing and yachting pride was honored this week when news came that one of its latest creations had been invited into the charmed “Larchmont” circle of the sport. Probably there is no more sought distinction than this among the yacht designing and building fraternity. James A. Cruikshank of New York City has just received the kits for the building of one of Nunes Brothers “Mercury” racing knockabouts and will race the.fine little sloop in the waters of the western end of Lond Island Sound this summer. Cruikshank, a well known sportsman, traveler and author, is now retired from active business. He was formerly editor of Field and Stream, also of The American Angler, author of three of the famous Spalding Athletic Handbooks and has sailed, as he says, “almost everywhere dew is heavy enough to support a small boat.” He has handled the small boats of most of the waters along the two oceans from the Bay of Fundy to Catalina and also many of the yachts of Europe, where his greatest surprise was the splendid racing craft of the lakes of Switzerland. Recently a convert to the new Weldwood or plywood as the best material for small yachts, he saw one of the Sausalito “Mercury” type in San Francisco Bay last summer when here for the Fair, made a mental note

of its attractive appearance and sailing qualities, looked it up in the yachting magazines on his return cast and has ordered one. The kits being shipped east will be constructed into one of the most| up-to-date yachts of the year by the famous T. E. Peterson of Port Washington, Long Island, New York. Only the very latest and best of everything will be used, including stainless steel stays, Everdue and all bronze metalwork, the famous Merriam and Truloc fittings and Ratsey sails. The builder, Peterson, formerly superintendent of the famous Fyfe Shipyards, is enthusiastic over the lines and general characteristics of the little craft and prophesies great popularity for them in Larchmont waters. As there are few similar boats for them to race against near New York, they will have to fight bigger and better known classes, and this seems to have stimulated rather than discouraged both Mr. Cruikshank and the builder. While these sloops are intended to be built by amateurs, Mr. Cruikshank says he wants to be sure the work is done right and that the cost is but little more. He was officer of the Sea Horse Yacht Club, Milton Point Beach Club at Rye, and has applied for membership in the famous American Yacht Club whose colors the little craft will probably fly.

Sausalito News, Volume 56, Number 22, 29 May 1941

Cherokee, Jekera Winner in first race  for Mercury, Clipper Class

Bob Paganini’s “Cherokee” of the St. Francis Yacht Club was the winner on Sunday of the Mercury Class races held off Sausalito in the first ClipperMercury regatta held this season under official Small Boat Racing Association competition. In the Clipper brackets, E. H. Ratto’s “Jokera” of the Corinthians, won a close race that was pressed hard by Bob Candarin’s “Marieka II.” Luke Doucet’s of Sausalito had better luck in the Mercury races in this meet, having managed to hang onto his rudder (which was lost in the Vallejo race) this trip, and finished second in the “Chubascita.” Hard luck, however, dogged Kent Weaver Jr.’s “Miss Mor,” which finished second in the morning race, but fouled Bob Candrian at the finish line in the afternoon and set up a "did not finish” listing on the recorder’s sheet.   See link for scores.

Sausalito News, Volume 56, Number 43, 23 October 1941

"Yachts * and Y achters » By * TOPS'L ANNIE

The Bay yachtsmen's racing season officially ended a month ago (after the St. Francis Regatta) but it wasn't until this week that Recorder Harry Struthers got away from his sliderule and comptometer to declare the winnahs. As we'd predicted . . . Sausalito's season champ is HUCKLEBERRY FINN (the Martinsen-Johnson's black Bear boat) also the Bear Boat champion for 1940. her first racing year. Incidentally the Martin-sen-Johnson NAM SANG was very definitely a runner-up for the big boat class. Division 7. Eddie Fiesel's YO-HO-HO was the winner, but the NAM SANG tied Jimmy Flood's DORADE for a close second percentage. Bob Hampton's ROGUE was the winning boat in Division 13 . . . and though he's not technically a Sausalitan, he's next door to being one. Apparently no one has told those Mercury and Clipper skippers that the racing season is over . . . for they’re at it again. Sunday marked the opener of a five-race series for two trorphies put up by Cliff Smith longtime San Francisco Yacht club member, long-time former Commodore, and long-time Bay skipper of note. As if it weren’t enough to start off a five-week racing scries in the middle of October, there are additional complications . . .in the form of football overtones. Here's the set-up . . . The boats start from Belevedere Cove; then the first boat in each class to reach the Committee boat is automatically on the receiving end of a pass from said Committee boat . . . from then on the leader keeps the football until overtaken by another boat, the overtaking boat then calls for a pass, takes the football and spends the rest of the race trying to retain the lead and the football. The ordinary business of trying to skipper a small boat in a more than brisk breeze to victory is enough , . . but add to it the need to pull some fancy football maneuvers and you really have something. At the end of the race (twice around Knox Buoy off Angel Island) neither of the winners had possession of the football, and though first over the lino they were not the highest point winners, because possession of the football gives 7 extra points to the score. Lon Ralston's Clipper SPOOK was first over, but the veteran Bob Candrian managed to come home second, and with the pigskin, in MARIEKA II ... so he was high-point man for the Clipper division. Art Colbran was third in TIME'S A WASTIN', and Jack Ericson’s LORAC 111 was fourth. The situation was even more involved in the Mercury class . . . Luke Doucet was responsible for that. Being a strategist of some reputation, he simply retrieved a pass intended for (and missed by) Ernie Nunes’ MERCURY. Then Luke and CHUBASQUITA continued to sail a good third, and came out high point winner, because they had the football and the seven point bonus. Dave Schulz’ SILVER FOX with first over the finish line in the Mercury class, with Ewing Sibbet’s QUICK SILVER second (however, they ranked second and third on point totals), and Ed Davis finished fourth with RHYTHM. There were nine entries in each class, and not all the entrants finished. It was really blowing Sunday (more of that later), and the extra complications of bunched sailing, due to attempts by overtaking boats to claim a pass, lead to a collision or two. Colin Mason’s SEA JAY tangled with a Clipper . . . Probably Gene Ratio’s JAECKERA, for she limped homo with only a part of a mast. Then Manual Lino disqualifeid his RED COAT by bumping into the Knox buoy while negotiating the turn. But all in all it was a remarkable race . . . just ask the sea-going football nines. Oh yes, there was some more color to the race. Mercury-De-signer Ernie Nunes raced his MERCURY for the first time this season (Art Yeend sailed her during the racing season when Ernie was unable to do so). In the Clipper class Clipper-design-er Myron Spaulding was skippering Grant Lohman’s OCHO. In this first race of the series in the top brackets, neither de-signer-skipper placed . . . but there are four yet to go. Incidentally, we wonder whether Cliff Smith got his idea of sponsoring a special competition for the Clippers and the Mercurys after the fun he had in winning the San Francisco Yacht Club's Old Timer's race last month. The boats borrowed by the Old Timers for their test of skill were the fleet little Mercurys.

Sausalito News, Volume 56, Number 44, 30 October 1941

Yachts r and Y achters • By * TOPS'L ANNIE

It seems that we had the Corinthian Yacht Club closing the yachting season a bit prematurely .. . the gathering two weeks ago was an open house and tro-phy-awarding affair, and it will not be until this Saturday that the Corinthians will play host to the yachting fraternity at "a dance celebrating the closing of the yachting season”. Traditionally a bang-up affair, there'll be a goodly turnout for the costume party at Tiburon. Which brings us indirectly to the Clipper and Mercury skippers. who refuse to recognize that there’s any closed season on yachting. They’re going to carry on their five-series football classic sailing match (“weather permitting”) if it takes all winter. Last Sunday was one of the days when the weather wasn’t permitting, but the boys are already for the second race of the series tentatively scheduled for next Sunday. Regrettable aftermath of the first small boat race on October 19 was the loss of Ernie Nunes' MERCURY. The designer's own Mercury boat was left on a mooring in Belvedere Cove after the race (if you'll remember, that was the Sunday in which the wind dusted up more than a little bit). Sometime during the night she broke away, and the Coast Guard reported seeing her break up on the rocks at Point Bonita early Monday morning. Which is very bad news indeed . . .

Sausalito News, Volume 56, Number 46, 13 November 1941

Yachts and Yachters By TOPS'L ANNIE

Came Sunday, and a bright clear day it was (for a change) . . . so out went the Clipper and Mercury skippers for a double round of racing (with football interludes). The double-header event brings the total races run off in the Cliff Smith trophy event up to three . . . and, weather permitting, another double header may end the series next Sunday. It’s very apparent now that the clipper sailing-point leaders are Lon Ralston’s SPOOK and Art Collbran’s TIME'S A’WASTIN' . . . with SPOOK having the edge at the present moment. Six Clippers raced the first race . . . seven raced the second, on account young Bob Potter entered his brand-newie BAIRN. TIME’S A'WASTIN’ won the first race, with SPOOK second and Barney Cogsdell’s TEENAMO third. In the second stanza, Lon ghosted SPOOK in first (literally, because the wind was pretty light for the second race), with Jack Ericson's LORAC 111 second, and Collbran’s TIME S A’WASTIN’ third. Gene Ratio’s JAECKERA and Bob Candrian’s MARIEKA were the other Clipper entrants. There was a shortage of Mercurys Sunday . . . only two of the fleet entered. Luke Doucet's CHUBASQUITA took Manuel Lino’s RED COAT in the first race—and they did not finish the second. Since Luke has a priority rating with Uncle Sam, CHUBASQUITA has raced her last this season . . . her sails and mast are already stored away. Due to the fact that some of the Mercury's arc already hauled out for the winter (the Mercurys have raced a long season as it is), that Ernie Nunes’ MERCURY was lost two weeks ago, and that high-point CHUBASQUITA is out of the running . . . it may well be that the Mercury series will not be completed this fall. But if it is RED COAT will be in there sailing, and with a now crew member, too . . . Fritzi Strittmatter was aiding and abetting on the RED COAT on Sunday. Sailors and their gals will be ' ing merry Saturday night at ance at the Sausalito clubse of the San Francisco club. > power boat yachtsmen will I celebrating at the St. Francis the same night. . The Martinsen-Johnson seas- •. ' .’s champion Bear HUCK 1 NN is holed in for the winter it Nunes’ Bros. On the other ; de of the ways, the Van Zandt’s -. TNG OF THE WIND is shored vp . . . and her owner plans to : oend as much of the next throe months as the weather will allow in giving S.O.T.W. an A-l licking-up. Up in the loft at Nunes’ the lines are laid out for another of the 30-foot Tahiti ketches. The lumber will be cut at Nunes and the boat will be built as a back-yard project in San Francisco. Newcomers to Sausalito’s sailing ranks . . . but not to sailing . . . are the Ben Sears, who are in the process of getting a Snipe under construction and will be sailing come spring. The new Snipe will be the second Ben has built . . . the first one he raced at Balboa.