Stage one for Morning Light

The 30 shortlisted for Disney's TP52 Transpac movie get on the water

Monday August 7th 2006, Author: Rich Roberts, Location: United Kingdom
Ideal conditions greeted 30 finalists this Sunday on the first day of tryouts for Roy E. Disney's Morning Light crew. With cameras grinding away from all angles, they spent the afternoon sailing Catalina 37s on the Long Beach outer harbor near the Queen Mary in mid-70s sunshine and 10-12 knots of breeze.

When the tryouts conclude on Saturday, 15 will advance to training in Hawaii early next year on the Transpac 52 that 11 or 12 will sail in next summer's Transpacific Yacht Race, without coaches or advisors on board.

This was the first phase of a true film documentary by Disney's Pacific High Productions planned for theatrical release in 2008. The 30 young men and women were chosen from among 538 applicants. With an average age of about 22, they will be the youngest and one of the most diverse crews ever to sail the historic race.

This week the 30 will shuffle daily as crews of 7 or 8. They were assigned boats on Sunday but worked out their crew positions among themselves before leaving the dock in Rainbow Harbor. Each boat sailed with a member of the selection committee on board.

Selection committee members are 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.

During Sunday's sailing the committee members said little but took notes, preferring to observe how the candidates worked together and performed naturally.

Ikle said, "We've said to them that we're not looking for the best sailing skills. We're looking for the best teammates."

Campbell added, "We don't need to pick the best sailors because they'll be going through training in Hawaii. We're looking for trainability."

Earlier in the day the 30 finalists took swimming tests in the Long Beach Yacht club pool, all passing the requirements to swim 50 yards and to tread water for five minutes.

Finalists for the selection trials (in alphabetical order):

*Lindsey Austin, 21, Honolulu, Hawaii
Trevor Bozina, 22, San Francisco, Calif
Chris Branning, 21, Sarasota, Fla.
Graham Brant-Zawadzki, 21, Newport Beach, Calif.
*Anna Brun, 20, San Diego, Calif.
Chris Clark, 20, Old Greenwich, Conn.
Charlie Enright, 21, Providence, R.I.
Jesse Fielding, 19, North Kingstown, R.I.
Raiden Hasegawa, 18, Evanston, Ill.
Robbie Kane, 21, Fairfield, Conn.
Felipe Lopez, 18, Friday Harbor, Wash.
Steve Manson, 21, Baltimore, Md.
Robert (Max) Moosmann, 19, Newport Beach, Calif.
Colin Ranney, 21, Newport, R.I.
John Romanko, 19, Vancouver, B.C.
Chris Schubert, 21, Rye, N.Y.
Riley Schutt, 21, Trumansburg, N.Y.
Omari Scott, 22, Antigua, West Indies
Parker Shinn, 19, San Diego, Calif.
Andrés Soriano, 20, New York, N.Y.
*Jennifer Stone, 20, Haverhill, Mass.
*Kate Theisen, 19, Socorro, N.M.
Mark Towill, 17, Kaneohe, Hawaii
*Genny Tulloch, 21, Houston, Texas
Piet van Os, 22, La Jolla, Calif.
Chris Vetter, 18, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Chris Welch, 18, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.
Marcellus Wesley, 22, Washington D.C.
Kit Will, 21, Milton, Mass.
Jeremy Wilmot, 20, Sydney, Australia.

* Female.

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