Meet the Pacific Cup Crew

Meet the Pacific Cup Crew

It has taken some scrambling, and a little gentle arm-twisting, but VALIS now has her full crew for the Pacific Cup.

In 2006 we sailed with four, and discovered that long-distance racing is a bit different than cruising. For example, when cruising we have one person on watch, and the other three can do chores, read, sleep, etc. This is a pretty comfortable arrangement. When racing, each watch has a minimum of two crew, and with only four total we became pretty exhausted. Going with a crew of six this time will make the on-watch and off-watch schedules more tolerable, and allow us to sail more aggressively. So, here we are:


Alan Beckman, offshore near the Cordell Bank

While he looks quite salty, Alan is actually fairly new to sailing. Alan has been a friend of mine for many years, and has been an occasional crewmember on VAILS daysails. As a chemist specializing in wear and lubrication, Alan is will have a wonderful opportunity to research the effects of repetitive motion and load-cycling-induced wear in a corrosive marine environment. And do some sailing.


John Clinton, approaching the Golden Gate after nineteen days at sea

John has been a VALIS crewmember since 2004, and helped us prepare for the ’06 Pac Cup. He crewed on the ’06 Oahu-to-San Francisco return passage and is looking forward to the ’08 race. In 2007 John joined Daniel Terhune and me on a trip to Fiji, where we helped our friend Jim Marco sail his Crealock 37 “Intention” from Lautoka, Fiji to Port Vila, Vanuatu. John is a systems engineer for a telecom startup in Petaluma, and we were colleagues at my last company.


Rich Jones

In spite of what the photo might lead you to believe, Rich actually lives in Tigard Oregon, where he is quite involved in the Oregon sailing scene (he is crewing aboard Sampaquita II in the Oregon Offshore as I write this.) Rich has many offshore miles to his credit, and after the Pac Cup will be delivering another boat from Hawaii back to the mainland. Rich and I became acquainted after he crewed with Davey Glander on the homeward delivery of the Cal 40 “California Girl” after the 2007 TransPac. As you may know, Davey had helped me bring VALIS back home in 2006. Sadly, Davey passed away in late 2007, and in the aftermath of this Rich and I got to know each other. Rich will be bringing his great attitude and some serious racing chops – always welcome on VALIS.


Michael Moradzada, at Cayenne’s comm-station

I am extremely pleased to announce that Michael Moradzada will be racing with us. Michael is well-known to everyone involved in the Pacific Cup, and by joining the VALIS team he will no doubt help up take our game up a couple of notches.

Since Michael is truly an excellent communicator, I will let him tell us about himself:

I learned to sail in college. My wife Noelle and I bought our third boat, Cayenne, a Passport 40, in 1997, giving me the opportunity to try offshore sailing and racing. To my immense satisfaction, I found I liked it quite a bit. I am doing the race for my fifth time, the first being in the extraordinarily low wind year of 2000. I’m very happy to be making the passage on VALIS this year.

For the 2008 race, VALIS will be the comms boat, and I’m happy to be serving as radio operator again for that role. I also have the good fortune to be serving as PCYC’s Rear Commodore. In November, 2007, I ended my term as Commodore of Corinthian Yacht Club of San Francisco.
When not sailing, or thinking about sailing, I am probably asleep. If not, I’m doing some sort of woodworking, mechanical, or electronic project.


Daniel Terhune, nearing the Pacific Cup’s Kaneohe finish line in 2006

Daniel has sailed more miles aboard VALIS than anyone (other than me). In addition to daysailing, Daniel crewed on our 2003 voyage from San Francisco to Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, and back to San Francisco. In 2006 he was part of the Pac Cup race team, and is now looking forward to doing it again. In 2007 Daniel also sailed with John and me on the Fiji-Vanuatu voyage. Daniel’s sea-time also includes time on other sailboats and a stint in the U.S. Coast Guard, where he served in both the Pacific (up to the Bering Sea) and in the Atlantic. Daniel is a software engineer (retired), and we have enjoyed working together in several companies over the years.


Paul Elliott, enjoying himself *way* too much

I have been sailing since perhaps the age of six, with significant gaps from time to time. Prior to VALIS I had never sailed further than Long Beach to Catalina, but I have found that I truly enjoy the long sea-passages. I am a retired electronics engineer, and am able to indulge my continuing enthusiasm for hardware and software by puttering around with the systems aboard VALIS. My time at sea includes the two Hawaii voyages, a trip down to Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands, all on VALIS. I have also sailed on other boats, including a delivery from Santa Barbara to Berkeley, sailing among the Marquesas Islands (South Pacific), and the Fiji-Vanuatu trip. My only race experience is the ’06 Pac Cup.

My other interests include music — I am involved in the nonprofit Phoenix Theater, a youth-oriented Petaluma venue for the performing arts: . Here I am, playing bass at a Phoenix Theater fundraiser:

I also serve on the Board of Trustees for the SETI Institute – — an organization dedicated to research in the areas of astronomy and planetary sciences, chemical evolution, origin of life, biological evolution, cultural evolution, and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. I am particularly involved in the Allan Telescope Array, an installation of multiple radio-telescopes located near Mt. Lassen, used for both SETI listening and advanced radio-astronomy. This is definitely not a crackpot organization, but rather a serious group of legitimate scientists, engineers, educators, and other professionals.

So there we are! Can this madcap assortment of misfits and outlaws overcome their deep inner pain and resentment to pull together and achieve greatness and glory in the Pacific Cup? Will we actually cross the starting line on the correct day? And what about those extraterrestrial space-spores that we encountered during the ’06 return voyage ( Are they still out there, waiting for us? Stay tuned!


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