WEATHER: The wind continues to blow from the N-NW at 20-30 knots
Little Changes Mean a Lot
A slight change in the weather, someone’s condition, or the wind direction can make huge differences on board the ocean rowing boats racing in the Great Pacific Race. For solo racer Elsa Hammond / Elsa Hammond’s Pacific Solo Row, a slight yet persistent pointing of her bow to the west and her determined rowing have allowed her to gradually distance herself from the California Coast. She has made huge gains in heading west. For a little more moral support, our second support boat, Cloud Nine, cruised by Hammond last night. They reported her spirits were good and her rowing was strong. With a smile and a wave, Cloud Nine continued on their journey with the confidence that Hammond was, like the 2400 Women for whom she had dedicated this row, pushing her mind and body to the limits to achieve her goals.
Our French pairs team on CC4 Pacific reported that “times are a bit harsh right now” and that they are “continuously getting sideways waves comparable to ‘buildings’.” They are using a system of 2-2, meaning 2 hours of rowing and 2 hours of sleep, but “the hardest part is to wake up!” According to reports, their backs are hurting them a lot but the encouraging messages they receive each day bring them a lot of happiness. For all our teams, please continue to send them messages of support. It really does help.
The conditions are challenging for all the teams. In these trying times, teams have two options: a drogue or a para-anchor. The drogue is used to slow down a boat while teams still row. The para-anchor is used to ride out stronger weather, by stopping the boat to minimize drift while sleeping. When teams are outside their comfort zone or they feel conditions are beyond their ability or control, they will put out a drogue or para-anchor. In the first weeks while teams acclimatize to the conditions, we tend to see more teams rowing with a drogue or para-anchor deployed.
With our two groupings of racers at the front of the pack, there are slight differences in the weather conditions which have resulted in a some big number variances. Uniting Nations is currently holding a 49 NM lead (as of the noon reports) over the 2nd place Battleborn. In the last 24 hours, Uniting Nations logged 32 NM while teams in the second grouping of boats logged between 0-11 NM. The difference in conditions between the two groups is estimated at 20-25 kts from the North NorthWest at about 330 degrees for Uniting Nations and 25-30 knots from the NorthWest at 300 degrees for the next grouping. These slightly milder conditions for Uniting Nations have allowed them to row freely for several hours now and they have made big gains. NOMAN reported in this morning that they had deployed their para-anchor yesterday but had lifted it this morning and we can see from the Yellowbrick Tracker their speed has increased. Little changes and differences mean a lot even in the ocean.
Battleborn has posted a nice blog report which has provided us with some good insights as to what life and conditions have been like for this team of four. They have been rowing with a man down for a short period as crew member Dan Kierath had been suffering from severe sea sickness. Both Race Director Chris Martin and our Medical Support Team had been in direct contact with the rowers to provide advice and monitor his condition as well as offer moral support. As a precautionary measure, our support yachts were also aware of Dan’s condition and on standby, just in case. We are all happy to know that he is staying hydrated and feeling better. Battleborn’s teamwork and persistence has kept them in second place while enduring challenging conditions both on and off their boat. Pacific Warriors also had a good take on their conditions with their post.
“Sunny w/ side of White caps. Funny when u glide over waves that look like 30+ ft walls sent by Poseidon to smite u but its the lil 6 ft bastards that swamp the deck.”
MEANWHILE, BACK ON SHORE
With the start for wave two anticipated to be Tuesday, June 17, Saturday night saw the crews on land gather for the 2014 FIFA World Cup game of England v Italy. British crew members were disappointed when England lost, but spirits stayed high as the post-match gathering moved down to the Pacific Rowers boat, which proved to be buoyant under extenuating crew conditions. A fun time was had by all and this morning teams are back to work to complete their scrutineering so they are ready for a Tuesday departure, weather permitting. Team Pacific Rowers asked for a special “shout out” to the Good Samaritan family. This family, who just happened to be walking by the Monterey Peninsula Public Dock yesterday saw the team carrying boxes of Mountain House food from the “cage” staging area down to where their boat is currently moored. This family just jumped in and helped carry box after box after box of freeze dried. As they say, it takes a village sometimes and the efforts of this anonymous family was extremely appreciated by the Pacific Rowers. For the family, it was just a little thing they could do, but for the team, it was a BIG HELP! The little things really do mean a lot.
GREAT PACIFIC RACE STANDINGS as of NOON today
Project Flight Plan: Waiting for next start/ weather window
Rowing 4 Reefs: Returned to Safe Harbor; Waiting for next start/ weather window
Elsa Hammond: ROWING – Position 6; 2066 NM to finish, Rowed 103 NM
Row for Hope: Returned to Safe Harbor; Waiting for next start/ weather window
Clearly Contacts CA: Returned to Safe Harbor; Waiting for next start/ weather window
CC4 Pacific: ROWING – Position 4; 2024 NM to finish, Rowed 209 NM
Fat Chance: Undergoing Scrutineering
Four Person Teams:
Battleborn: ROWING – Position 2; 1952 NM to finish, Rowed 261 NM
Boatylicious: Undergoing Scrutineering
Pacific Rowers: Undergoing Scrutineering
NOMAN: ROWING – Position 3; 2014 NM to finish, Rowed 143 NM
Pacific Warriors: ROWING – Position 5; 2029 NM to finish, Rowed 117 NM
Uniting Nations: ROWING – Position 1; 1903 NM to finish, Rowed 255 NM