Cast: Jeremy Wilmot, Jason Earles
Director: Mark Monroe
Genre: Drama, Documentary, Action.
Running Time: 94 minutes
A Morning Light You Won't Want to Miss
A powerful and inspiring tale not to be missed, released on DVD 25th November 2009.
Fifteen young sailors, six months of intense training and one chance at victory in the 2007 Transpacific Yacht Race. Morning Light is the exhilarating and uplifting documentary that traces the path of a group of intrepid and determined young men and women as they embark on a great adventure. Don't miss Morning Light when it's released to DVD 25th November 2009.
Morning Light producers Roy E. Disney and Leslie Demeuse present a true-to-life, unscripted account of the selection and training of a crew of young adults for the oldest and most prestigious open sea race in the world.
In creating Morning Light, Disney, having sailed the Transpac 16 times, and Demuse, who first participated in the Transpacific over 30 years ago and again in 2007, assembled the youngest ever group of sailors to participate in the race to crew the Morning Light, a 52-foot racing sloop.
Fifteen novice sailors compete for the once-in-a-lifetime experience to race the Transpacific from Los Angeles to Honolulu, a grueling competition that covers nearly 2,500 ocean miles and attracts elite competitors from all over the world. Chosen from over 500 applications, the group spends six months in intensive training before the final 11-member crew are selected in an exhausting and thrilling test of their endurance.
Morning Light writer-director Mark Monroe and editor and co-producer Paul Crowder (Dogtown and Z-Boys, Amazing Journey: The Story of the WHO) document the team's selection, preparation, emotional journey and sea-going adventures in a fast-paced, rhythmic style.
Captained by 21-year-old Australia Jeremy Wilmot, Morning Light is a fascinating look at both a unique and challenging sporting event, and, at its heart, the story of a bond that does not waver as the team's endurance is put to the ultimate test on the high seas.
An unforgettable story of endurance and teamwork that will appeal to the sense of adventure in everyone, don't miss your chance to sail the ocean blue when Morning Light is released to DVD 25th November 2009.
Morning Light features over 60 minutes of exciting bonus features, exclusive to DVD, including 'Stories from the Sea' with host and Hannah Montana Star Jason Earles, and the ESPN Special 'Morning Light- Making the Cut'.
"MORNING LIGHT" SAILOR BREAKS HER ARM DURING TRAINING, BUT NOT HER SPIRIT
"Breaking my arm allowed me to see the big picture, not only what I was missing out on, but also how far I'd come and how far I still needed to go."~Genny Tulloch, 24
How did you get into sailing?
I had grown up as a small boat sailor, alone in my own boat or skippering in a two-person dinghy, and went from being the scared one in my youth class in Texas to becoming quite competitive nationally and internationally. I attended Harvard University because of its sailing team's prowess, and satisfied with my achievements there (I was runner-up for the Female Collegiate Sailor of the year as a freshman and won the award as a sophomore), I graduated early to pursue my sailing career. I dabbled in Olympic boats, trying to see which boat or team fit best.
How did you become part of "Morning Light"?
While I was in Europe, sailing one World Championship in France and gearing up for another one in England a month later, "Morning Light" announced tryouts.
Here was a chance to get into a whole new arena of the sport that I had never even dreamed about being able to take part in, much less get to do so in this way-with access to some of the best sailors in the world as mentors and coaches, an incredible boat to train on, and a huge ocean race at the end of it all!
Were you scared about the risks involved?
It seemed like a dream, like I was back in junior sailing, and instead of being scared I was imagining the open ocean and what it would be like to be out there, racing on it, competing in the howling winds in the middle of the night! I jumped at the chance to apply with the same intensity or more that I had put into my college applications. I just hoped that my dinghy resume and inexperience in big-boat and offshore sailing wouldn't keep me from making the team, and that internet connections in Europe would keep me informed if I did. I got the call in the middle of World Championships, and made it home just a day before heading off to trials.
Did you feel that you were prepared for the adventure?
With the incredible group of young sailors that were brought together for the tryouts in Long Beach, I could only hope that my skills in small-boat sailing could be applied, that my desire to be a part of this team was witnessed, and that my lack of knowledge in certain big-boat arenas wouldn't dissuade the judges from taking me.
What types of emotions did you experience?
The excitement and relief that went through me when I made the team were tremendous: I had gone from the scaredy-cat youth sailor to the female inshore-racer-but had never contemplated a distance race, much less taken part in one. Yet I was about to learn and experience and take on aspects of sailing I'd never even known existed.
What did training involve?
The training in Hawaii was awesome, in the true sense of the word. As a team we went through everything, from hot to cold, dry to wet, unskilled to skilled, strangers to a family.
We started in January as a group of individuals with a huge monster of a boat in front of us, a gigantic journey in knowledge ahead of us, not knowing the power of the boat or ourselves.
After six months we started the Transpac as a team, a unit able to fix any problem, make any decision and any sail change possible to get to Hawaii. We became ocean racers.
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned a lot about myself through the "Morning Light" experience. I had aspirations of being the skipper or a leader on the team- I had grown up doing that in sailing and in other sports and I know that spot well. But I'm a risk taker, and unfortunately broke my arm in a snowboarding accident at a very inopportune time: right before one of our last and biggest training sessions.
Watching the roles of skipper, watch captain, and driver slip out of my broken grasp as the boat left the dock during that training session was a disappointment I had rarely, if ever, experienced. Yet in many ways it was a better learning experience for me to have to play a different role, to actually gain experience in the big-boat skills I was lacking, and to be a team player. Breaking my arm allowed me to see the big picture, not only what I was missing out on, but also how far I'd come and how far I still needed to go.
What other knowledge did you pick up along the way?
When I first learned about the project, I felt like I could write the dictionary on sailing, and I ultimately realised I could only begin to write the first chapter in a whole bookshelf of encyclopedias. I had opened my eyes to the bigger world out there, the true open ocean, this different realm of sailing with all of its possibilities and far horizons, with fair trades or fickle winds. Out there, you can't rely on the race committee to set your course for you, you have to do it yourself.
How would you sum up the experience?
"Morning Light" couldn't have come at a better time in my life. It meant more to me as a sailor and a person than any sailing project or opportunity I ever could have imagined.
By Genny Tulloch