Determination and motivation for crew members “over 65″ years old” has them participating in this month’s Transpac race — the annual trans-Pacific race from Palos Verdes to Hawaii.
Retired oil exploration executive Lloyd Sellinger of Newport Beach decided to participate in the Transpac race because he now had the time to do some of the things he’d always wanted to do.
So he went searching for a ride on another Cal 40 as crew.
But he soon found that he had became the victim of age discrimination. He was just too old.
But Monday, July 11th, found him at the helm of his own Cal 40 Bubula heading for Hawaii and competing in this year’s Transpac race.
Being a man of character and perseverance, Sellinger dedicated himself to refurbishing his own Cal 40 and put out the word for a crew.
Sellinger decided “to get a whole crew and they’d all be over 65 — and I’ll show you,” he seemed to be telling those who had tossed him aside earlier because he was “too old” to crew in the big race.
His goal was to acquire the crew of compatibles that would fit in the space afforded on a Cal 40.
He had all new instruments, a refurbished keel and a new mast.
He placed an ad for his “over 65” crew in a sailing magazine.
Now it became his job to sort out the capable from all of the applicants.
Some “over 65s” who turned out were clearly unfit for a journey of this distance (2,225 nautical miles and at least 12 days on the water).
South Coast Corinthian Yacht Club race committee chair Jim Doherty applied for a position and was accepted.
“Compatibility is a primary requirement as the cabin is cramped for 12 days, and then there is the three week return to the mainland, as it will be against the wind, the same 2,225 nautical miles, with no stops,” Doherty said.
Jim — who is 68, wears a hearing aid and sometimes shouts, with the wind as his competition — was asked why this trip appealed to him.
“Born and raised in Hawaii, I came to the mainland years ago on a sailboat and now I’d like to go back the same way, but in a race.”
Bubula had a crew comprised of skipper Lloyd Sellinger, 72; Jim Dougherty, 68; Mike Gass, 65; Andy Szaz, 67; Dr. Gordon Livingston, 66; and a gentleman named Huber, age 68.
They all went off on a journey, doing what they have time to do, doing it with a group with the same goal:
“To get there, all together and not finish last.”
The skipper has a true sense of humor.
He informed the crew: “The good news is we’ve taken on a doctor. The bad news is he is a psychiatrist. He’ll probably analyze everything we do.”
Gordon Livingston is from Baltimore, Maryland.
He considers himself very fortunate to be chosen, as his racing experience is around inner water buoys. However, he is a medical doctor.
Details of the 75 boats that participated in the Transpac and went off to Paradise can be found at: www.transpacificyc.org