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
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,
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
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
- Graham Brant-Zawadzki, 21, Newport Beach, Calif., senior,
- Chris Clark, 20, Old Greenwich, Conn., sailmaker.
- Charlie Enright, 21, Providence, R.I., racing coach, senior
- 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.
- Kate Theisen, 19, Socorro, N.M., planetary scientist
student, New Mexico Tech.
- Mark Towill, 17, Kaneohe, Hawaii, senior, Punahou High
- Genny Tulloch, 21, Houston, Texas, sailor.
- Piet van Os, 22, La Jolla, Calif., senior, California
- Chris Welch, 18, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich., boat prep and
- Kit Will, 21, Milton, Mass., senior, Connecticut College.
- Jeremy Wilmot, 20, Sydney, Australia, sophomore, St. Mary's
College of Maryland.
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.