Tom Mullen and his ShamrockVII crew don’t rely on luck to reach the podium, but rather passion and experience.
Year after year, the clear blue waters of the Caribbean beckon Tom Mullen, the skipper of the Shamrock VII, an intrepid J/120, to some of the regions top races; and for the past decade ePaint has been his racing bottom paint of choice. Like it is with so many, early experiences on the water with loved ones established sailing as an integral part of Tom’s life. He reminisces how from the age of three his father instilled in him a love of the water. He remembers adventures on the family boat searching for clams and starfish in mudflats, and sailing camp in New Hampshire during the summer where he still keeps a number of smaller boats on Lake Winnipesaukee. As a young man, Tom sailed for his alma mater Boston University, and later on relished the opportunities he had to sail while enlisted in the army and posted in Washington, D.C., where he met his wife in 1969. As a lifelong sailor, Tom has always relished adventures on the water, and as such has a vested interest in the preservation of marine ecosystems.
It is safe to say that preserving this proverbial playground is a priority for the avid sailor. So it comes as no surprise that some time ago, Tom sought out an environmentally friendly, smarter approach to antifouling during the race season. A quick search online took him to our site, where he saw alternatives to traditional antifouling paints which use biocides like copper that are harmful to the environment. Intrigued, and on the Cape for the Figawi race that takes place in Nantucket Sound every summer, Tom visited our office in Falmouth and soon found himself overseeing painters applying coats of EP 2000 to his Shamrock IV in the Caribbean.
In the Caribbean, Tom has found that no product works better in the clear water than EP 2000. He applies it annually to his Hatteras and his Shamrock that he keeps in Antigua. EP 2000 is so successful in the clear water of the Caribbean because its antifouling biocides are photoactive, or activated by sunlight. This innovative design has garnered numerous accolades for ePaint, even a rating by Practical Sailor in 2011 of excellent performance over a twelve-month span. Tom also cites our thorough directions for application as being a key factor for excellent performance. He preaches to fellow sailors that to get the most out of the paint, the directions have to be followed. He appreciates the attention to detail that must be adhered to, with spray on application, optimal thickness, and sanding techniques being of the utmost importance for performance. As Tom attests, with the proper application, all the maintenance that he has to do throughout the year is a little bit of wiping biofilm away with a light Turkish towel.
This past year, Tom and his crew reached the podium in an impressive five out of six races. These races included the Rolex BVR Spring Regatta, the St. Barth’s and the Dark and Stormy in the Virgin Islands, which he won in class and division. Another was Antigua Yacht Club’s Round The Island race in which the Shamrock placed third in class. This year Tom looks forward to competing in the Heineken race during March and the St. Barth’s in April, with more to be scheduled.
On its side, the Shamrock VII sports ePaint’s logo beside that of Rolex, but it is the amusing phrase “Check out our Bottom!” that draws the most attention. Thanks to Tom and the Shamrock, many boaters in the Caribbean are becoming more and more aware of the environmentally friendly, high performance alternatives that we offer. He says that on race days he gets plenty of people asking about his bottom, and he takes the opportunity to hand out an ePaint pamphlet. All jokes aside, tradition is important to Tom, but performance is as well, so that’s why three Shamrocks later, he still uses ePaint to help him keep the waters clean and cruise to the finish line.