LOS ANGELES---Crew applications for Roy E. Disney's Morning Light
film project have closed with 538 young sailors, including about 50
from foreign countries, hoping for a position on the team that will
sail a Transpac 52 in the 2007 Transpacific Yacht Race.
Candidates for "the youngest crew ever to sail Transpac" are
already being pared down to the 30 who will participate in selection
trials on Catalina 37s in Long Beach Aug. 5-13, all expenses paid by
Pacific High Productions.
The final team of 15 will be announced at the end of those trials
and will undergo four months of training on Morning Light in
Hawaii starting Jan. 1. They'll race the boat from Los Angeles to
Hawaii on their own in July.
"We really must have touched a nerve out there," Disney said.
"It's going to be really hard to pick the best of a really
outstanding group of people. There wasn't a turkey in the lot. It
made our job twice as hard as we thought it was going to be. I feel
bad for the kids who won't get to go. We would have loved to taken
Aside from being the youngest, it probably will be the most
diverse crew ever to sail Transpac.
Sailing team manager Robbie Haines said, "We're looking for
diversity, a crew totally inclusive concerning race and gender."
About 200 of the applications were from young women, many others
from minorities. Hampton University, one of the nation's
leading colleges and universities
for African-American students, is located on the water of
the Virginia peninsula and hopes to
have its sailing team represented, as do the nation's maritime
The aim is to have a crew younger than the seven young men who
sailed on Jon Andron's victorious Cal 40, Argonaut, in the
1969 Transpac that averaged 22.57 years of age. Two of those crew
members were 17, but the minimum age for Morning Light will
"Any applicants who will not be 18 by Jan. 1 of 2007 will not be
eligible," Haines said.
All applicants will be notified of their current status on or
before July 4.
Disney recently purchased Morning Light, the Transpac 52
formerly named Pegasus, from software developer Philippe Kahn.
The film, scheduled to be released in 2008, will chronicle the
recruitment, training and performance of the crew through the race
in 2007. None will be actors. There will be no script and no