Peet Must: A Cinderella Story
Published on June 21st, 2018
While the Pac52 Class in California hasn’t yet risen to the ranks of TP52 racing in the Mediterranean, the west coast fleet is stacked and the boats are thoroughbreds. It is not for the timid, and certainly not for rookies to excel at their first at bat.
So when 34 year old Peet Must got the call to be a last minute driver in the Pac52 fleet, nobody expected this New Jersey sailor to guide the Interlodge team to win Leg 2 of the Pac52 West Coast Tour. But like Cinderella, a happy ending occurred.
Hailing from Tom’s River, Peet currently works at the oldest operating nuclear plant in the country as licensed senior engineer operator, the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Facility at Barnegat Bay in New Jersey Barnegat Bay.
An amateur racer who sails for fun, quite often on his home waters of Barnegat Bay in the Barnegat Bay A-Cat fleet – those 28-foot long, 11-foot wide, shallow drafted cat boats. Among Peet’s fellow competitors are the owners of the Pac52 Interlodge, Austin and Gwen Fragomen.
Peet was invited to sail aboard Interlodge earlier in the year, and for the latest event in Marina Del Rey was supposed to be runner/strategist. But then came the call to be the alternative helmsman when Austin unexpectedly fell ill.
“I couldn’t sleep that night, I was so excited,” Peet admitted. “The pressure was there, but Morgan Larson was sitting right next to me calling tactics and is a very cool, calm personality. He patiently guided me through maneuvers and I was able to follow well enough to keep him happy.”
With one day to practice and get a feel of the boat, Peet was pretty much thrown to the lions. Sink or swim if you will. No pressure. Really. It’s going to be okay! Just one caveat. You can’t win…
The Pac52 Class has an owner driver rule, but will allow an alternate driver if said driver is approved by other owners prior to an event, is NOT a professional and the team must accept a 1 point penalty for each race in which the alternate driver takes the helm. There will be no 1’s on your scorecard. The best you can get is a 2.
But what about winning overall? For the 8-race series, that meant starting eight points in the hole, but when you win six of the eight races, victory occurred. What you hear now may be the sound of the class rules increasing the non-owner helm penalty…
“My job was to focus on driving, paying close attention to the heel and boat speed, never really looking around. I supposed a more experienced driver to take a look around more, but I didn’t have that luxury. I just had to trust the crew and pay attention and stay focused on my job.”
The Pac52 Class reconvenes June 22-24 at Long Beach Race Week in Long Beach, CA.
Source: Pac52 Class