Morning Light team hits a home run

Published on January 30th, 2014

Morning Light was a 2008 film, which chronicled a real-life crew training and competing in the 44th Transpacific Yacht Race aboard a TP52 aptly named, Morning Light. The project began with a nationwide recruiting campaign, which resulted in the selection of 15 young sailors between 18 and 23 years. They would be the focus.

“We’re not making a film about sailboat racing and we’re not making a film about a boat,” explained Executive producer Roy E. Disney. “It’s a story about a group of young adults sailing across an ocean, the obstacles they encounter and the bonds they form. It’s a story about becoming more than the sum of the parts.”

Seven years later, Morning Light crewmates Charlie Enright and Mark Towill will now be leading Team Alvimedica to compete in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. Here are comments from the film team…

Leslie DeMeuse, Executive Producer
“We really wanted these kids to have the opportunity to move on to bigger and better things. The kids clearly had aspirations, and they were all very talented. Based on their applications, we knew they would carry on and apply this experience to future endeavors. That was our hope, as so many young people don’t get the opportunity to compete in a race like Transpac. I am really happy to see how they all have carried on; this news about Charlie and Mark is extremely rewarding.”

Robbie Haines, Sailing Team Manager
“When the idea of the documentary was launched, Roy and Leslie empowered those of us involved to do what was needed so the kids would be fully prepared to sail across the Pacific Ocean. We brought in this dream team of coaches, and the kids were so receptive to the training. We had 15 kids, and now nearly all of them have gone on to bigger and better things in our sport. Certainly to have two of them go from the Morning Light experience to now running a Volvo Ocean Race program, well, it’s a home run. I am so proud of them. They have all made those of us involved in the Morning Light project very proud.”

Stan Honey, Head Sailing Coach
It was clear then that a lot of them had their heart set on a career in sailing. I had just gotten done with the Volvo Ocean Race, so they were all eager to hear about it. Plus we had a number of coaches beside myself who had done the race, guys like Mike Sanderson, Mike Howard, and Jerry Kirby, so there were a lot of discussions about the race and about the skills needed. I am sure that Roy (Disney) would be exceedingly pleased by this news, but not at all surprised. He and Leslie really enjoyed the project. It was not hard to get swept up in the enthusiasm, and the kids were equally excited to have this rare opportunity to get to know a legend like Roy.

Note: Roy Edward Disney (Jan. 10, 1930 – Dec. 16, 2009) was a longtime senior executive for The Walt Disney Company, which his father Roy Oliver Disney and his uncle Walt Disney founded.


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