Charlie Enright and Mark Towill (Co-Skippers of 1 Degree) both completed their summer of racing in early August with regattas across the globe. Each race ended in dramatic outcomes, and Charlie achieving particular success.
Charlie kicked off the summer with a win onboard Wizard, a 70-foot Volvo Open 70 yacht and former Volvo Ocean Race-winning boat in 2011-12, in the Transatlantic Race 2019. The Transatlantic Race dates back to 1866 and it was the 31st running of the race. As sailing master on-board, Charlie helped guide Wizard to overall victory on corrected time over ten days of sailing, finishing just hours behind the much bigger 100-foot SHK Scallywag into Cowes, England.
A week after Charlie helped lead Wizard to the win, Mark left Point Fermin in Los Angeles with the crew of Pyewacket for the 50th running of the classic Transpacific Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu, Hawaii. It’s a race Mark knows well, going back to his participation on Morning Light in the 2007 race when he was still in high school and when he first met Charlie. The journey of the young crew was captured on camera and ultimately became a feature film documentary "Morning Light" by Disney Productions.
Mark's team didn’t get too far from shore. About 250 miles from the race start at 2:00am local time, a nearby competitor, OEX, began to take on water after experiencing rudder failure. Despite efforts, the crew were unable to stop the boat from filling with water. The decision was quickly made to deploy the life rafts and abandon ship. Close by, Pyewacket answered the distress call and made the quick decision to abandon the race to rescue the crew of 10 onboard OEX. Once all crew were safely onboard Pyewacket they started the journey back to California. OEX subsequently sunk and Mark would have to return back to his hometown of Honolulu by plane, instead of boat.
Listen to both skippers, John Sangmeister of OEX and Roy Disney of Pyewacket, recount the events of the rescue:
Finally, Charlie and Mark were on board racing together in early August for the legendary Rolex Fastnet Race out of Cowes, England, winning the Fastnet Challenge Cup, the overall prize for the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race. Charlie was skippering Wizard, which featured an all-star crew and several other sailors with Ocean Race experience. The win for Wizard was the first non-French boat to win the overall trophy at Fastnet since 2013.
“The key is that we were able to hang-on in the first third of the race, the conditions where the boat traditionally doesn't sail well, and that set us up for the rest, when we hit more favorable conditions and we were able to close it out,” said Charlie. “It was well-sailed, but it was also good conditions for the boat.”
© Rick Tomlinson | Transatlantic Race
Rolex Fastnet Race
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