Day 13 Race Report

Posted on June 22, 2014 in Battleborn, Boatylicious, CC4 Pacific, Clearly Contacts - Row the Pacific, Elsa Hammond, Fat Chance, General, Great Pacific Race 2014, Jim Bauer’s Row for Hope, NOMAN, Pacific Warriors, Project Flight Plan, Rowing 4 Reefs, Uniting Nations


LEAD BOATS: Winds from the N/NE at 12 to 18 knots. Seas from the N 6 feet at 7 seconds.
MIDDLE BOATS: Winds from the N 12 to 18 knots. Seas from the NNW 7-8 feet at 8 seconds.
BACK OF THE FLEET BOATS: Winds from the N/NW at 16 to 25 knots. Seas from NW 9 feet at 8 seconds.

Today is the thirteenth day of the Great Pacific Race and this has proven to be an ill-fated day for some. Two of our solo rowers have retired from the race on this auspicious day, Daryl Farmer / Rowing 4 Reefs and Jim Bauer / Row for Hope. Both rowers are in general good health and are recuperating ashore. Statements for each can be found by clicking on their names.

The number 13 has a bad reputation no only for those ashore and while as sea one should use the term “12+1” instead of uttering the number. There are many maritime myths and superstitions. For example, legend has it that it is a women on a boat who brings bad luck to everyone aboard. It is said that having a female on a ship makes the sea angry. One could argue that this is why our all women team of Boatylicious has broken and lost so many oars. Their count is three broken and one lost. Our Boatylicious girls are not giving into these ancient beliefs as they have not given up or given in and have a solid grasp on position 6 on our leader board. Our Boatylicious girls are getting crafty as they try to mend their broken oars by using various materials on the boat in order to avoid having to ask for an oar from one of the support boats.

Another of our female rowers, Meredith Loring of Fat Chance Row, has been toughing it out against the maritime myths lately, according to their recent blog post. The sea has not once, but twice tried to wash her off their boat Roosevelt. Loring reports:

“Yesterday’s winds were close to thirty knots and the waves were breaking on our deck over and over. Sami [Inkinen] proved his worth once again by grabbing me as I got washed off the boat, not once but twice. Luckily the only thing that was really damaged was my poor rain pants, which are now ripped in half (I still wear one leg of them to protect me from splashes). My legs are taking a beating and shoulders are as well, from getting slammed into the side rail of the boat.”

Loring, as well as our other rowers, clip onto the boat using a tether for safety.

Legend has it that the way to counter the bad effect of having a female on a boat is to have a “naked” woman on board as the ancient power of female nudity would “shame” the stormy seas into calm. Ocean rowers often do row “au naturale” mostly to prevent chafing. Perhaps Loring’s sacrifice of her pant leg was a step in the right direction to calm the big seas they have been facing since they started their row. In the last 24 hours they have logged 12 NM in challenging conditions and have decreased their distance to the Boatylicious girls by 1 NM.

There are two solo females entered into the Great Pacific Race. Mary Rose / Project Flight Plan has not had good luck in trying to escape the “Groundhog Vortex” of the Monterey Bay. In the early hours of the 13th day of this race, Rose chose to return to safe harbour in Monterey, CA.

Elsa Hammond / Elsa Hammond’s Pacific Solo Row is still struggling with the wind gods.

“It seems the wind and I disagree on a number of things, including which direction is a good direction. I’m still inching south west, but it is slow and painful. Come on trade winds!!”

Hammond also describes some the many challenges of cooking and eating in an angry sea in her recent blog post.

“Eating food should be a simple matter, but I’m still struggling to work out how to get a whole spoonful into my mouth while still keeping a wary eye on the approaching waves. Bits of pasta have ended up all over the deck, on my clothes, down my neck, in my ears… For some reason, the wind doesn’t like the idea of food going into my mouth.”

Team Pacific Warriors have tempted the maritime fates by rowing in a green boat. The color green is said to bring bad fortune on a vessel, but this bad fortune has not been bestowed upon female crew member Susannah Cass. Instead, it is Matt Lasky who is currently suffering from some carbon splinters in his palm, complements of a broken oar. The Pacific Warriors had a good showing over the last 24 hours as they increased the distance between themselves and the French pair on CC4 Pacific by 15 NM. CC4 Pacific is equal distance between two sets of teams of four, with 61 NM separating them from both the Pacific Warriors in front of them, and the Boatylicious girls behind.

Perhaps our French team have found a way to stay immune to the superstitions of being surrounded by women on boats. It is believed that pouring wine on the deck will bring good luck on a long voyage and we know that our French pair started off well equipped in this regard (although we don’t believe that sacrificing the wine to the deck was their intention.) Perhaps there was a little spillage last night as our French cousins report that “today the sun allowed them to take a shower, do some laundry and even have a little aperitif!” Life aboard CC4 Pacific sounds pretty good.

Our lead boats seem to have kept the wind gods happy and have overcome the maritime myths as they appear to be on the fast track to Hawaii as they receive the benefits of those elusive trade winds. Uniting Nations are now heading directly toward Hawaii and logged an impressive 55 NM over the last 24 hours. Race Director Chris Martin says we are likely to see numbers even higher than this, possibly as much as 60 or even 70 NM within a 24 hours period as our teams reap the full benefit of the trade winds.

With these miles, Uniting Nations increased their lead over Battleborn by 17 NM. Battleborn, in turn gained 3 NM over NOMAN.

Allowing their fingernails and hair to remain un-trimmed while at sea is rumored to keep Neptune happy, and we don’t believe there are bananas on any of the boat to bring bad fortune. We also hope that all rowers will have the benefit of dolphins swimming in front of their vessels as a sign of good luck as they continue across the mighty Pacific.

Solo Racers:
Project Flight Plan: On shore
Rowing 4 Reefs: Retired
Elsa Hammond: ROWING – Position 8; 2043 NM to finish, Rowed 234 NM
Row for Hope: Retired

Pair Racers:
Clearly Contacts CA: On shore
CC4 Pacific: ROWING – Position 5; 1942 NM to finish, Rowed 414 NM
Fat Chance: ROWING – Position 7; 2014 NM to finish, Rowed 185 NM

Four Person Teams:
Battleborn: ROWING – Position 2; 1688 NM to finish, Rowed 579 NM
Boatylicious: ROWING – Position 6; 2003 to finish, Rowed 151 NM
NOMAN: ROWING – Position 3; 1823 NM to finish, Rowed 460 NM
Pacific Rowers: Retired
Pacific Warriors: ROWING – Position 4; 1881 NM to finish, Rowed 89** NM
Uniting Nations: ROWING – Position 1; 1619 NM to finish, Rowed 650 NM

*The miles rowed reflect all miles rowed since the start of the race which include miles from any first attempts before returning to shore and re-joining the race.

** The miles rowed reflect the data from when their tracker was reset.