Day 25 Race Report

Posted on July 4, 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 @ 10 to 14 knots. Seas from the S moving to the NNE @ 6 feet / 8-14 seconds.
MIDDLE BOATS: Winds from the NE @ 11 to 16 knots. Seas from the S @ 7 feet / 14-15 seconds.
BACK OF THE FLEET BOATS: Winds from the N clocking to the NNW @ 6 to 10 knots. Seas from the S @ 7-8 feet / 15 seconds.

Happy Independence Day to all of our American Rowers, families, followers and friends.

For those of us in the United States, today we will dress in the national colors of red, white and blue. This morning, Americans might head to a local parade then head off to a picnic or barbecue. This evening, skies will light up with firework displays. Americans celebrate this day to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence when the United States declared its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain (now the United Kingdom)

At some time today spare a thought for those in the middle of the Pacific.  There won’t be any fireworks for our rowers and we don’t believe there were any packages of freeze dried BBQ meats packed on the boats. Today and tonight will be much the same as the last 24 days for our rowers. They will be…rowing.

Our race office has received messages requesting additional information on Tropical Storm / Depression Douglas. The shore crew at the Great Pacific Race has been monitoring Douglas for the last week. Race Director Chris Martin explains what is expected to happen with Douglas in the coming days.

“Douglas has only been on the lower end of the Tropical Storm grade with sustained wind speeds of 40 mph (35kt). It is moving slowly into cooler waters and is expected to dissipate soon. It is not a very deep depression (1006mb) with wind speeds extending only 35 miles from its centre. Douglas is moving at 6mph and is a long way away from the fleet (centred at 21.6 N, 118.1 W) more than 600nm away from the nearest vessel so at its current speed it will be 100 hours before it reaches where the rowers are now currently (by which time they will be around 180nm closer to Hawaii.)

Our shore teams will continue to monitor Douglas and other systems in the area to keep our crews safe and as prepared as possible for severe weather conditions. With Douglas continuing to weaken, it should degenerate to a normal low pressure system over the weekend. It is possible that some of the boats in the middle of the pack may see stronger winds toward the end of next week, and crews may also experience bigger waves in the aftermath of Douglas.

Martin also stated that:

“Even if Douglas stayed the same strength and its route took it directly over the rowers the boats and crew are more than capable of withstanding wind and waves of this sustained strength or more for many days at a time. It’s uncomfortable but the crew could either put out a parachute anchor (to prevent being blown back) or drogue (to reduce the chance of broaching).”

For those of you following the Henley Royal Regatta, you will hear a special message this weekend from Mark Gleeson of team NOMAN. Gleeson will not be competing at Henley for the first time in years as he is currently in the middle of the Pacific. He sent an announcement to his Dad which will be read out over the speakers over the weekend:

“Dad, I am currently right in the middle of the Pacific ocean, and trust me it feels even bigger than you think when you are in it! For the first time in years I am not competing at Henley. At this moment in time I am debating what is easier: white stakes either side of me, my opponent next to me and waiting for the umpires flag to drop, knowing the torture I am about to inflict upon myself; or sat here knowing I have over 1400miles of open ocean left to traverse, fighting off huge waves, hunger, and sore bums and living in a world less than 24ft in length.”

Both the Henley Royal Regatta and the Great Pacific Race are incredible challenges of strength and endurance. We are honored that this message from the Pacific will be communicated at an event which marks the pinnacle of our sport. Although the boats are very different they share a common ancestor and both Henley Royal Regatta and the Great Pacific Race demand excellence, dedication and endurance from our entrants. We wish all entrants participating at Henley Royal Regatta the very best of luck, especially those racing for Molesey Boat Club.

Elsa Hammond / Elsa Hammond’s Pacific Solo Row has heard the many messages from her supporters which have helped to inspire her to make great strides in the last 24 hours. She has logged more miles toward Hawaii in the last 24 hours than she has in the last week. It is great to see that her continued strength and perseverance is paying off. Go West Elsa! And supporters, keep those messages coming to cheer for her, and all of our teams!

Philip Cavanagh of Team Battleborn sent out a radio message by way of RTE1 Internet Radio in Ireland this morning. He talks about the mental challenge of rowing across an ocean, how he was inspired to do this race and how he does still enjoy a few luxuries on board the boat, such as sipping his coffee while chatting with an Irish radio station. You can listen to the entire broadcast here.


Battleborn PIc

Team Uniting Nations has heard the message that Team Battleborn are on the hunt to catch up. In the last 24 hours, Uniting Nations logged our highest 24 number of 61 NM. They have also dipped under the 1,000 mark with only 967 NM until Hawaii. Last but certainly not least, Uniting Nations has also increased their lead over Battleborn by 10% in the last 24 hours alone.

As of today’s 1:00 leaderboard, Team Boatylicious has moved into the 5th spot, dropping our French team on CC4 Pacific into the 6th spot. Congratulations to our all girls team on Boatylicious for this achievement.

We received a special message from team Pacific Warriors that we were asked to pass on to the Emily Blagden, Aoife Mhaoileoin, Ingrid Kvale and Amanda Challans who had announced yesterday that they had their “eyes fixed on the Green Giants of Pacific Warriors!”

“3 men aboard green giant decide to time hawaii arrival with 4 beautiful women on boatylicious”

This was quickly followed up by a message from Susanna Cass, the fourth (female) crew on board Pacific Warriors:

“Now Boatylicious, don’t tempt my boys to row slower!” love Susannah #girlpower vs #picklepower

Solo Racers:
Project Flight Plan: Withdrawn
Rowing 4 Reefs: Retired
Elsa Hammond: ROWING – Position 8; 2057 NM to finish, Rowed 435 NM
Row for Hope: Retired

Pair Racers:
Clearly Contacts CA: Withdrawn
CC4 Pacific: ROWING – Position 6; 1648 NM to finish, Rowed 782 NM
Fat Chance: ROWING – Position 7; 1655 NM to finish, Rowed 755 NM

Four Person Teams:
Battleborn: ROWING – Position 2; 1116 NM to finish, Rowed 1183 NM
Boatylicious: ROWING – Position 5; 1647 NM to finish, Rowed 633 NM
NOMAN: ROWING – Position 3; 1347 NM to finish, Rowed 974 NM
Pacific Rowers: Retired
Pacific Warriors: ROWING – Position 4; 1472 NM to finish, Rowed 860 NM
Uniting Nations: ROWING – Position 1; 967 NM to finish, Rowed 1309 NM