Day 19 Race Report

Posted on June 28, 2014 in Battleborn, Boatylicious, CC4 Pacific, Elsa Hammond, Fat Chance, General, Great Pacific Race 2014, NOMAN, Pacific Warriors, Uniting Nations


LEAD BOATS: Winds from the ENE @ 7 to 9 knots. Seas from the SSW moving to the SW @ 4 feet / 16 seconds.
MIDDLE BOATS: Winds from the N @ 10 to 14 knots. Seas from the SW 4 feet / 17 seconds.
BACK OF THE FLEET BOATS: Winds from the NW @ 16 to 23 knots. Seas from the NW moving to the NNW @ 7-8 feet / 7 seconds.

There has been a lot reported on the day to day activities of life on board an ocean rowing boat.  In addition to figuring out how to simply do daily tasks and chores while crossing an ocean, these rowers also have a few jobs to do while they are out there.

Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation are an official partner of the Great Pacific Race. Each of our rowers will be assisting with their Marine Micro-plastics project.

The Project
Plastic debris has been recognized as an environmental issue since the 1970s, and now microplastics – pieces smaller than five millimeters in size – are of increasing concern.
Microplastics come from several sources: They can weather from larger marine plastic debris like drink bottles, commercial fishing gear or shopping bags; they’re laundered from nylon clothing; and they wash down the drain with many common cosmetics.

Once in the ocean environment, the particles act as attractants for other toxins. Resembling plankton, they’re often ingested by marine life and eventually move up the food chain to larger fish, birds and mammals.

With support from a Patagonia Environmental Grant, Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation is recruiting a flotilla of adventure scientists to collect ocean water samples worldwide which includes our rowers in the Great Pacific Race. Jordan Holsinger, explains how this project will work:

“Each boat is to collect ocean water samples for our micro-plastics project at designated locations spanning the 35 degrees of longitude separating Monterey and Honolulu. During the race, the crews will create the largest human-powered micro-plastics sampling transect ever completed. The information they gather will be used to fill in missing gaps about the state of plastic pollution in the open ocean.”

At a briefing before their departure, when rowers received their sample water collection bottles, each was assigned specific lines of longitude where they would collect samples. Teams were enthusiastic about helping out with this project. Thus far, according to the sign up sheet, both Pacific Warriors and Uniting Nations should have collected their first sample, and in the next day or so, both NOMAN and Battleborn should be on task as they cross over another line of longitude.

How will this data be used?
Researchers will count and characterise the micro-plastic particles in each water sample. Their work will be published in peer-reviewed publications and reported in the national press.  More information on Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation and this project can be found here.

IMG_3791 ©Ellen Hoke Photography

In their quest to cross over all 35 lines of longitude between the California Coast and the Hawaiian Island, our pairs teams continue to impress. Fat Chance Row did an inspiring 16 hours straight of rowing together yesterday in their quest to cross over the 125 longitudeline. Our French team on board CC4 Pacific has also made up their minds to not compare their path the teams of four rowers. They are making great progress, logging an impressive 23 NM in the last 24 hours. The Boatylicious girls, however, logged 29 NM and have gained 7 NM on the French. Only 39 NM separate these two teams and they are the closest on our leader board. With teams now logging an average of about 37 NM per day, we could see a change in our leader board sometime next week.

Team NOMAN reports that in week three they have found their rhythm.

“We are aiming directly for Hawaii so I guess we are on the home stretch. Although in this race the home stretch is around 1700 miles.”

They have also made it clear that they would NOT like to have Macaroni and Cheese as a part of their welcome meal in Hawaii. Having this once a day and knowing they have stocked up for 50 days, has already been enough for this team. In finding this rhythm, they managed to log 45 NM in the last 24 hours, giving them an average speed of 1.875. They also gained 14 NM on the Pacific Warriors, increasing the distance between them to 87 NM.

Battleborn and Uniting Nations continue to lead the pack. After reading a recent post from the Battleborn boys, we realize that this is apparently not just a competition about rowing across an ocean. Darren ‘Billy’ Taylor describes another challenge we have discovered, although not encouraged from any shore team, between the boats.

“I recently read, with some amusement, about the hygiene issues that the other teams are going through. This included Sami’s statement that on Fat Chance they had gone for five days before going on deck to have a wash. I’ll see your five days, and raise you 13…”

“That’s right, followers of Battleborn, we have not – as yet – really had a decent wash. I could bore you with all the many reasons that this is so, but I feel that this would not allow your imaginations the freedom that they deserve to come up with your own answers.”

Perhaps this is a secret strategy to keep those down wind from the boys as far away as possible, or to see just how far odors can spread across an ocean. The Great Pacific Race shore team is already looking into having hoses available upon their arrival for a decent spray down. Clothes pins for noses may also be on hand.

Uniting Nations has logged our highest 24 hour number to date, with 58NM in the last 24 hours. Their average speed was 2.416 and there is a spread of 131 NM between Uniting Nations and Battleborn. Uniting Nations could reach the half way mark in as little as four or five days.

The support for all of our teams has been overwhelming. Below are some events you may be interested in attending or tuning in to while our rowers cross the Pacific.

For those of you in London, there will be a gathering in honor of all participants in the Great Pacific Race on Monday, June 30 from 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm local time. The venue is the Allsop Arms Pub, 137-143 Gloucester Place, London. If you are in the area, please drop in and show your support for all of our crews rowing across the mighty Pacific.

Flash FM, an internet radio station based in Oxford, UK will be broadcasting reports from the Battleborn team. At 9pm (UK & Ireland time) four days during the week listeners can tune in by clicking this link to hear an update of Team Battleborn’s progress. The Flash team also invite Battleborn followers to message or tweet the show using #FlashRow

Saturday 28  June: 11.00 – 14.00 BST – Live OB from The Athlete Centre, Oxford.
Mondays (from 30 June):    21.00 BST,           13.00 PST,            5.00 PERTH (Tues)
Wednesdays (from 2 July):  21.00 BST,           13.00 PST,            5.00 PERTH (Thurs)
Thursdays (from 3 July):      21.00 BST,           13.00 PST,            5.00 PERTH (Fri)
Fridays (from 4 July):            21.00 BST,           13.00 PST,            5.00 PERTH (Sat)

These broadcasts will continue (same day, same time) until Patience and her crew pull into  harbour safely in Hawaii.

Solo Racers:
Project Flight Plan: Withdrawn
Rowing 4 Reefs: Retired
Elsa Hammond: ROWING – Position 8; 2057 NM to finish, Rowed 361 NM
Row for Hope: Retired

Pair Racers:
Clearly Contacts CA: Withdrawn
CC4 Pacific: ROWING – Position 5; 1812 NM to finish, Rowed 589 NM
Fat Chance: ROWING – Position 7; 1909 NM to finish, Rowed 472 NM

Four Person Teams:
Battleborn: ROWING – Position 2; 1434 NM to finish, Rowed 856 NM
Boatylicious: ROWING – Position 6; 1851 NM to finish, Rowed 398 NM
NOMAN: ROWING – Position 3; 1595 NM to finish, Rowed 696 NM
Pacific Rowers: Retired
Pacific Warriors: ROWING – Position 4; 1682 NM to finish, Rowed 636 NM
Uniting Nations: ROWING – Position 1; 1303 NM to finish, Rowed 969 NM