The Pacific Cup held five seminars, which they called Pacific Offshore Academy. Topics ranged from safety, equipment, medical issues, navigation, and sailing skills. The first seminar was more than a year before the race. I don’t even remember most of it. Participants from previous races spoke, and it was a general introduction to the race and what we could expect. My takeaway, which I don’t think was the intent, was that I desperately needed crew. I worried that if I didn’t procure a crew quickly, then as the race neared I wouldn’t be able to find a crew at all. So immediately following the seminar, I posted in the crew list.
I got a couple respondents right of the bat. The first was Timothy. Tim had similar sailing experience to me. He had taken the ASA series of courses, has some coastal sailing, and wanted something more. Tim was very eager to race, and also offered to help offset the cost. We met and went sailing and he seemed a good fit.
Next I got a call from Tony. We met on the boat and talked about expectations. Tony is a multi-year Pac Cup veteran, and had previously been an inspector for the race. He expressed an interest in joining and asked of the rest of the crew. He then gave me contacts for his crew from 2016 to check their interest. I spoke with and sailed with the rest of the crew over the next couple months, but as schedules worked out, it was a while before they were all on the boat at the same time. As months went by, Tim seemed less interested, and was missing crew days and sailing days. Eventually the crew ended up being myself, and Tony’s crew from 2016. That would be Tony, Jonathan, John, and Mary.
Having an experienced crew, especially a crew that all knew each other, was a godsend for me. I received much less guidance from my inspector than I had expected, and Tony always knew an answer. Tony’s comfort with my boat really helped my confidence as well. Unfortunately, Jonathan suffered an injury to his hand about 2 months before the race, and Mary had some personal issues come up about a month before. John’s friend Paul (who also raced in 2016) joined us, as did Mark, who was entered for 2018 but the boat he was on withdrew at the last minute. As a great bonus, both Jonathan and Mary continued working as shoreside crew with communications and provisions. Having a great crew really boosted my enthusiasm for racing. This trip has always been intended for the first leg of a bigger cruise. But with this experience, winning became possible. A Morgan 382, Ghost, won overall in 2004. So it could win. I now had crew that could win.