FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
by Rich Roberts
Long Beach CA (APRIL 21, 1999) -- From a chicken coop in Santa Cruz to Greenwich, England to the ancient Italian village where Michelangelo and Leonardo de Vinci worked and finally to an unlikely find in downtown Los Angeles - that's the course creative genius followed to produce sport's newest major trophy.
It's the Transpacific Yacht Race Course Record Trophy. It was suggested by Bill Lee, commissioned by Roy E. Disney and created by Andrea Favilli of Pasadena. The 55-inch-tall treasure recognizes the eight boats that have held the elapsed time record for monohulls from Harold Sinclair's Lurline in the inaugural event in 1906 to Disney's Pyewacket in '97. Other record-setters were Mariner in '23, Morning Star in '49 and '55, Ticonderoga in '65, Blackfin in '69 and Windward Passage in '71.
But it was Lee who started the zeal for real. With the help of a few friends he produced Merlin, the forerunner of the big ultralight "sleds," from a chicken coop on the side of a hill in Santa Cruz and in 1977 sailed it to a record that stood for 20 years.
Lee said of the trophy, "It was somewhat my idea that I passed on to Transpac a couple of years ago, and Roy picked up on it."
Disney knew Favilli, 36, through his work at the Walt Disney Co. "I'm not a sailor, but I love sailing," Favilli said. "In all my research on the race, the guy I most admire is Bill Lee. So much of what I see the Transpac being is a lot of very wealthy people with some professional crews. I used Bill Lee as the quintessential role model: someone who really worked to win the race. And he revolutionized the race. I always had him in the back of my mind and thought, I want Bill Lee to be proud of this."
He is. When the trophy was unveiled in February, "He came up to me and gave me a big hug and said how much he loved it," Favilli said.
The top of the trophy is an artistic replica of the H1 clockwork displayed at the Greenwich Observatory. Built around 1730 by Englishman John Harrison, it made ocean navigation reliable for the first time. "It was what solved the riddle of longitude," Favilli said. "I thought if this trophy could have an element like that it would be great, especially since what we're creating is a trophy that concentrates on time by marking a record."
Favilli, whose chief assistant is his wife Camille, incorporated an analog clock showing the current record - Pyewacket's 7:15:24:40 - with dials to adjust the days, hours, minutes and seconds when that mark falls. There is also a "time capsule" cabinet, a suggestion of sailing film producer Leslie DeMeuse, whose late father Ken sailed Blackfin to a record in 1969.
Born in Italy, Favilli returned to his roots to fashion the bronze portion of the trophy. "I sculpt mostly in bronze," he said. "The craftsmanship in bronze where I cast goes back centuries. It's a little town in the heart of Tuscany called Pietrasanta. Artists like Michelangelo [and] Leonardo de Vinci worked out of Pietrasanta. All the biggies today are there."
But Favilli also wanted some strong Hawaiian character in the piece. He hit upon it while in Honolulu on business. "One evening I went walking along Kalakaua Avenue and found the International Market Place [where] this guy was carving tikis. I asked him if there was a tiki god of the ocean. He said, 'Yeah, his name is Ulu.' "
Favilli wanted to carve Ulu's likeness into the trophy in native koa wood, which is hard to find these days. But he said, "I found a little old guy in downtown Los Angeles that squirrels away planks of wood that [look like they] were ripped right off a tree trunk. I bought a 12-foot by 3-foot plank [of koa] from this guy.
"I thought it was important to go to koa wood because from the beginning we tried to link the beginnings of the race with King Kalakaua's desire to see some sort of event that would create a better friendship between the mainland and the islanders. We always thought this is something that will go down through the legacy of sailing," so everything had to be of the utmost quality."
The trophy is pictured on the race web site http://www.transpacificyc.org/.
Need Crew? Want to Crew?
Skippers looking for crew to race or do a return delivery are advised to check the web page http://holoholo.org/crewlist/index.html. Several prospects are already listed, and there is a form for new candidates to sign up.
Entries at 25
Entry forms are available by writing to entry chairman Dan Nowlan at 4224 Point Loma Ave., San Diego, CA 92107. Nowlan also may be contacted by phone or fax at (619) 224-0198 or by e-mail .
More Transpac information, including past results and press releases, is available on the race website http://www.transpacificyc.org/.
Elapsed Time Records
Monohull: Pyewacket, Roy Disney, Los Angeles YC, 1997 7 days 15 hours 24 minutes 40 seconds.
Multihull: Explorer, Bruno Peyron, YC La Baule, 1997 -- 5 days 9 hours 18 minutes 26 seconds.
Cruising Class: Salsipuedes, Fred Frye, San Diego YC, 1997 12 days 6 hours 57 minutes 57 seconds.
|DIVISION I (starts July 3, 1 p.m.)||Boat Name
|| Roy E. Disney
|| R/P maxi 75
|| Los Angeles YC||Zephyrus IV
|| R/P maxi 75
|| St. Francis/SDYC||Magnitude
|| Doug Baker
|| Andrews 70 turbo
|| Long Beach YC||DIVISION II (starts July 3, 1 p.m.)||Mongoose
|| Robert Saielli
|| Santa Cruz 70
|| San Diego YC||Velos
|| Kjeld Hestehave
|| Tanton 73
|| San Diego YC||Medicine Man
|| Bob Lane
|| Andrews 56 turbo
|| Long Beach YC||DIVISION III (starts July 3, 1 p.m.)||Stealth Chicken
|| Bruce Anderson
|| Perry 56
|| Voyagers YC||Gone With the Wind
|| SC 50 turbo
|| St. Francis YC ||Estupendo
||Acapulco YC||DIVISION IV (starts July 2, 1 p.m.)||Uproarious|| Robert Bussard|| Olson 40|| Silver Gate YC||Glamal || Seth Radon|| Sydney 41|| California YC||Sweet Caroline|| William Rawson|| Dubois 43|| Royal YC, Vic. Aust.||Love Machine|| Joshua Dean|| Peterson 40|| TSPYC||Prime Time|| Borkowski/Sherlock|| Olson 40|| Channel Islands YC||Apollo V || Ned Knight || Peterson 42||Point Loma YC||Bolt || Craig Reynolds|| CF 41 M|| Balboa YC||Tower || Don Clothier|| Lidgard 45 ||Waikiki YC||DOUBLE-HANDED (starts July 2, 1 p.m.)||Vendetta
||Alamitos Bay YC||Kiwi
||Channel Islands YC||CRUISING DIVISION (starts June 29)||Esprit || Robert Pace|| Kelly Peterson 46 ||Oceanside YC||Goodnight Moon|| Carlton Vanderbeek|| IOR Swan 431|| Dana Point YC||Willow Wind || Wendy Siegal || Cal 40|| Cortez Racing Assn.||Endeavor III|| Bell/Clitheroe|| C&C 40|| Royal Canadian YC ||Pacifica|| Douglas Jones|| S&S 49|| Southwestern YC||Hurricane|| Kim Stebbens || Septre 41 || Sloop Tavern TV|
HoloHolo Hawai`i Ocean Sports News
Last Modified: Thursday - 19990422.14:30 HST
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