Morning Light, the long-awaited yacht racing film from Walt Disney Pictures, opens on Friday, Oct. 17 in Roslyn. Produced by Pacific High Productions, Morning Light is a true-life documentary about 15 young sailors (age 18-22) who sailed the TP 52 Morning Light 2,225 miles from Los Angeles, CA to Honolulu, HI in the 2007 Transpacific Yacht Race.
Executive Producer Roy E. Disney has sailed in every Transpac Race since 1975. His boats set new elapsed time records in 1977 and 1999, and he and the production crew are familiar with the challenges presented by the sea. "Their solutions to problems were revolutionary," said Morning Light crewman Jesse Fielding, of Wickford, RI. "They used the late Steve Fossett's catamaran Playstation as a camera boat. She had a huge tripod with a camera mount 40 feet in the air. One whole closet in the boat was dedicated to camera gear, sound decks and electrical equipment...and power drainage way beyond what a racing sailboat would normally have." Rick Deppe, who is now the media specialist on PUMA Ocean Racing's VOR entry il mostro, handled the cameras aboard Morning Light.
Co-director/Editor Paul Crowder is a former musician whose work includes the surf film Riding Giants, Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who and more than 50 episodes of VH1's Behind the Music. "There's gonna be a lot of high-energy music, and the footage is gonna be incredible," said Fielding. "I hope this film gets kids fired up about going sailing."
"To see how 15 young adults sailed a 52-foot racing machine together as a team, and how we coped with situations like a 30-knot blow in the Molokai Channel at 3 in the morning is gonna be really cool," added bowman Robbie Kane of Fairfield, CT.
Morning Light will premier on Friday, Oct. 17 at Roslyn and one of the 15 team members is Chris Branning, a Midshipman from the USMMA (United States Merchant Marine Academy). Ralf Steitz, varsity offshore sailing coach, USMMA, and a resident of Port Washington, was one of the coaches who worked with the crew to prepare them for the Tanspac. In addition to Steitz, the crew was coached by Robbie Haines, Stan Honey, Mike Howard, Jerry Kirby, and Mike Sanderson.
Catching up with some junior activities: This from Chuck McCarthy, Port Washington YC.: Challenging winds in western Long Island Sound were the real story for the PWJrYC Twilight Keel Boat Regatta. Moving from west to east, clusters of storm cells on the south shore of Long Island and in Westchester County caused safety delays and unusual wind conditions. However at 1844 hours, after a 35-minute postponement, five boats with over 50 junior sailors started a windward, leeward, five mile course in a four knot westerly. Half way to the windward mark off Hart Island, the wind shifted 180 degrees to an easterly and increased velocity to about a 25-knot breeze. The competitors quickly shifted gears by setting spinnakers to what was the windward mark. Heading to the second mark, just south of Hens and Chickens, the juniors fought their way upwind in an easterly that shifted 45 to 90 degrees to the north. At the mark, the wind died and the tide drifted most boats backwards. Finally, a slow moving 5-10 knot northwesterly wind line caught up with the keel boaters to bring them to the finish by 2101 hours.
The scratch boat was Port Washington Yacht Club's Avalanche, a Farr 395 skippered by Christian Gordon. Finishing first with a time of 2 hours 17 minutes and 35 seconds, this boat was a combination team of Port Washington and Manhasset Bay Junior Yacht Clubs. Taking second with a corrected time of 2 hours, 22 minutes, 9 seconds was Riverside Junior Yacht Club's Zuma, a J109 skippered by Tommy Chronert. Third-place honors went to Beach Point Jr. Yacht Club's Strider, a J109 skippered by Scott Lubliner with a corrected time of 2 hours, 30 minutes, and 59 seconds. Fourth place went to Noroton's Jr. Yacht Club's Three Cheers, a J109 skippered by JG Schott. Rounding out the field was Diogenes, a Holland Kiwi 36 skippered by Matt Chimney of Seawanhaka Corinthian Junior Yacht Club.
And from Randy Fairhurst, Manhasset Bay YC: The children's Fishing Tournament, an annual event at MBYC, had a great turnout this year with 25 children participating. The weather was terrific and the fish count was over 100 fish landed in three hours. First place goes to Andrew Adelhardt with a total of 16 fish caught, Charlie Mac was second with a total fish count of 15 followed by Grace Kenlon with 12 fish caught. Andrew's name will be added to the Perpetual Trophy which is on display at the club. Special thanks to Lee Smith who brought bass fishing expert, Tom DiMauro to the MBYC docks to share special homemade lures and other "tricks of the trade" with the children. Robert Kuehn helped the kids land and release the day's catch and John Thomson supplied bait and fishing poles to the children who arrived without equipment. Plans are already underway to next year's event.
Thirsty Thursday results for their Spring Series (May 29-July 17): Top boats in Division I (7 boats qualified for the series): 1. Avalanche, Al Albrecht, 2. Ripple, John Towers, 3. Vision, Marc Epstein. Division III (13 boats qualified for the series): 1. EnPassant, Bob Ebenau, 2. Sundance, Joel Ziev, 3. Serenity, Jacques Blinbaum, 4. Irish Blessing, Ed Gillen, and 5. Tootsie, Ron Fink Results for the Thirsty Thursday Summer Series (July 24-Sept. 11): Division I (6 boats qualified): 1. Avalanche, Al Albrecht, 2. Ripple, John Towers, and 3. Xcite, Yalcin Tarhan. Top boats in Division III (13 boats qualified): 1. En Passant, Bob Ebenau, 2. Irish Blessing, Ed Gillen, 3. Sundance, Joel Ziev, 4. Naked Dance, Adam Bleifeld, and 5. Tootsie, Ron Fink. Results for the combined Spring and Summer series: Division I: 1. Avalanche, 2. Ripple, 3. Xcite. Top boats in Division III for the combined series: 1. En Passant, 2. Irish Blessing, 3. Sundance, 4. Naked Dance, and 5. Tootsie.
North Shore YC served as race committee for the weekend of Oct. 4, the last day of bay racing. Bob Ebenau is Race Committee Chair and he reported these results: Sonars: Race 1: 1. #451, Ping, Sue Miller/John Browning, 2. #421, Weekend Warrior, Dan Simon/Bill Simon/Einar Haukeland, and 3. #568, Laurie B, Bob Baskind. Race 2: 1. Weekend Warrior, 2. Laurie B, and 3. #479, Old Flame, Ed King/Andy Weissman/MaryLu Dempsey. For the MBOs: Race 1: 1. #9, Miss B Haven, Grace Allen/Ralph Heinzerling, 2. #14, Humdinger, John Silbersack/Jeffrey Rowland, and 3. #11, Silver Foxes, Jay Davenport/Curt Champlin. Race 2: 1. Silver Foxes, 2. #5, Escapade, Ned Baker/Dick Moore, and 3. Humdinger.