September 2006

Fishing Talk Radio | New Product Reviews

Find your Hotel Room Worldwide

Morning Light Finalists Selected

Youngest Transpacific Crew Ever

Of the 30 Morning Light finalists, 15 have been selected — it will be the youngest crew ever to sail the Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii.

After a week of intense tryouts of days filled with "team-building sessions" each morning and sailing on four Catalina 37s every afternoon, anxiety and emotions permeated the corridors of the Hyatt Hotel headquarters as the candidates were called individually and alphabetically for an elevator ride to the 17th floor where they would learn the outcome.

At race time, the average age of the 15 selected will be 21.2 years, a full year under the record. High-definition cameras will continue to record their experiences, as they did this week, for a documentary film scheduled for release in 2008.

Roy E. Disney's plan was to assemble a young and diversified crew. The 15 come from 11 states and one foreign country, Australia.

Disney, sailing team manager Robbie Haines and DeMeuse led the panel, and selection committee members were Stan Honey of Palo Alto, who recently navigated ABN AMRO 1 to its Volvo Ocean Race victory; Carol Buchan, Seattle, a world and national champion in various classes; Scott Ikle, sailing coach at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, as well as the 2003 U.S. Olympic Committee Coach of the Year in sailing; and Andrew Campbell, San Diego, a four-time all-American and College Sailor of the Year at Georgetown University.

Disney said, "I think we got an excellent sailing team. They're all great sailors and have good character, which could be said for all 30 of them. The decisions weren't easy."

The 15 Morning Light selections are as follow:

  • Chris Branning, 21, Sarasota, Fla., junior, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
  • Graham Brant-Zawadzki, 21, Newport Beach, Calif., senior, Stanford Univ.
  • Chris Clark, 20, Old Greenwich, Conn., sailmaker.
  • Charlie Enright, 21, Providence, R.I., racing coach, senior Brown Univ.
  • Jesse Fielding, 19, North Kingstown, R.I., boat worker, sailing teacher, pizza deliveryman.
  • Robbie Kane, 21, Fairfield, Conn., racing sailboat captain.
  • Steve Manson, 21, Baltimore, Md., sailing instructor.
  • Chris Schubert, 21, Rye, N.Y., Midshipman First Class, U.S. Naval Academy.
  • Kate Theisen, 19, Socorro, N.M., planetary scientist student, New Mexico Tech.
  • Mark Towill, 17, Kaneohe, Hawaii, senior, Punahou High School.
  • Genny Tulloch, 21, Houston, Texas, sailor.
  • Piet van Os, 22, La Jolla, Calif., senior, California Maritime Academy.
  • Chris Welch, 18, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich., boat prep and deliveries.
  • Kit Will, 21, Milton, Mass., senior, Connecticut College.
  • Jeremy Wilmot, 20, Sydney, Australia, sophomore, St. Mary's College of Maryland.

More information:

And, He’s Back!

LOS ANGELES—Roy E. Disney announced his retirement from sailboat racing at the awards dinner for the 2005 Transpacific Yacht Race a year ago, and now he has another bit of news: his comeback starts with the next Transpac in 2007.

With selection of the crew for his Morning Light documentary film project complete, Disney has confirmed rumors by declaring himself as the first unofficial entry for what will be his 16th Transpac. Now the youngest crew ever to sail the race will have as a counterpoint a 77-year-old skipper.

Disney will charter Pyewacket back from the Orange Coast College of Sailing & Seamanship. He donated the three-year-old maxZ86 to OCC after last year's race when Pyewacket finished 2 1/2 hours behind Hasso Plattner's maxZ86, Morning Glory, whose elapsed time of 6 days 16 hours 4 minutes 11 seconds broke Disney's record of 7:11:41:27 set in 1999 on an earlier Pyewacket.