Day 29 Race Report

Posted on July 8, 2014 in Battleborn, Boatylicious, CC4 Pacific, Elsa Hammond, Fat Chance, General, Great Pacific Race 2014, NOMAN, Pacific Warriors, Uniting Nations

NIGHT VISIONS AND FALLING ASLEEP AT THE OARS

WEATHER:
LEAD BOATS: Winds from the ENE @ 14 to 20 knots. Seas from the SSE moving to the SE @ 6 feet / 11 seconds.
MIDDLE BOATS: Winds from the NE clocking to the NNE @ 9 to 14 knots. Seas from the SE @ 5 feet / 10 seconds.
BACK OF THE FLEET BOATS: Winds from the NW @ 9 to 12 knots. Seas from the S @ 6 feet / 15 seconds.

At the top of today’s report is news that our support yacht visited Team Battleborn last night at about 01:00.  Their position in the photo above was 24.42.768 N 141.19.129W.   The boys were reported to be in good spirits.

It can be challenging enough to spot these tiny rowboats during the day on the open ocean.  Last night our support boat knew from the tracking beacon position that they were in the right area to locate Team Battleborn by using the AIS positioning system.  However, the navigation lights on Patience were not working and so despite being in radio communication, it was proving more difficult to find them especially with some cloud blocking out light from the stars and a waxing half-moon that had yet to rise. The cunning Battleborn lads put on head torches and were soon spotted by our support team in the dark of night. The boys are working on fixing their navigation light which most likely broke after water ingress or a minor electrical problem. They also carry spare bulbs to replace the existing one if this is broken.

Although the boys were in good spirits, they did report what they considered a major problem on board Team Battleborn – a problem they are not sure how to fix.  This is the volume of Barry Hayes snoring.  We wish them luck in resolving that one!

Day or night, our teams are rowing.  Sleep is suppose to happen when our crews are off the oars.  However, we are receiving several reports of our rowers falling asleep while rowing.  Our French team on CC4 Pacific have come into what they describe as a new phase of tiredness as they fell asleep at the oars.

“One of them (they didn’t say who it was on their message), took a trip to a restaurant and asked for a fork while he was actually rowing the Pacific and they don’t have any fork on board La Cigogne…”

It’s well documented that eating cheese before sleeping can cause some pretty freaky dreams which is potentially backed up by the news that CC4 Pacific is now a “cheese-free zone.  Sniff.  The last cube of comté was eaten!”

While the French were dreaming of forks and cheese, the Boatylicious girls made the biggest gain on the boat in front of them in the last 24 hours.  The girls added 15 NM to the spread between them and the French.

At the front of the fleet, Team Battleborn has also reported being asleep at the oars.


“Kipping on duty is a firm favourite. The graveyard shift (either 10pm-2am or 2-6am) is a nightmare of a shift. It’s dark and naturally conducive to sleep. I’m finding it particularly difficult to stay awake at the oars. Last night Billy’s oars clashed mine, waking me up and scaring the sh*te out of me at the same time! I pretended to have not been asleep but he didn’t come down in the last shower.”

However, resting whilst on the oars for Team Battleborn has allowed current first position, Uniting Nations, to extend their lead by a further 13 NM and allowed third placed Team NOMAN to continue to see the slim chance at snatching second place, as they closed in 5 NM on Team Battleborn. On the bright side, Team Battleborn has rowed under the 1,000 NM to go mark.

The night shifts are not always a popular time for our rowers.  Team Boatylicious reports:

“We have begun to dread night shifts. Not only because it means we each have to get into our wet foul weather gear three times throughout the night but because we cannot see where the waves are until they have deposited themselves right on top of our heads.”

Team NOMAN is also struggling with the night shifts, claiming they are the most difficult part of this row because of the cold, spray and darkness.

The night rowing isn’t all bad.  Some of our teams have reported a few nighttime treats offered up by the ocean, like the phosphorescence that can occasionally be seen.   Sami Inkinen of Fat Chance Row reported about an experience he had around 03:00 one morning:

“… every time I dipped the oars into the Pacific, I saw bright stardust circles form in the water. It was a magical moment, like a scene from a Disney movie.”

Barry Hayes of Battleborn shared an early experience he had at night with this tale:

“Last night I found myself grinning like an idiot as we rowed through the difficult night shifts – the moon was only a sliver and so the stars appeared even brighter than normal. Every single one of them had come out to cheer Battleborn on. It was an amazing display with the Milky Way streaking a misty pathway through the middle of it all; shooting stars going off all over the place. Added to that was the bioluminescence (a type of algae that glows bright white/green when agetated) that was particularly spectacular yesterday.”

As teams continue to move south and west, we anticipate less cloud and warmer temperatures which will not only allow crews to put away their foul weather clothing but also allow them to see more of the wonderful night skies that are only seen when you are miles away from any artificial sources of light.

GREAT PACIFIC RACE STANDINGS as of 1:00 pm today
Solo Racers:
Project Flight Plan: Withdrawn
Rowing 4 Reefs: Retired
Elsa Hammond: ROWING – Position 8; 2036 NM to finish, Rowed 489 NM
Row for Hope: Retired

Pair Racers:
Clearly Contacts CA: Withdrawn
CC4 Pacific: ROWING – Position 7; 1533 NM to finish, Rowed 907 NM
Fat Chance: ROWING – Position 5; 1449 NM to finish, Rowed 968 NM

Four Person Teams:
Battleborn: ROWING – Position 2; 913 NM to finish, Rowed 1387 NM
Boatylicious: ROWING – Position 6; 1490 NM to finish, Rowed 810 NM
NOMAN: ROWING – Position 3; 1137 NM to finish, Rowed 1195 NM
Pacific Rowers: Retired
Pacific Warriors: ROWING – Position 4; 1292 NM to finish, Rowed 1042 NM
Uniting Nations: ROWING – Position 1; 736 NM to finish, Rowed 1541 NM