Day 31 Race Report

Posted on July 10, 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 @ 12 to 16 knots. Seas from the ENE moving to the SW @ 6 feet / 6-15 seconds.
MIDDLE BOATS: Winds from the NE clocking to the ENE @ 9 to 12 knots. Seas from the WNW moving to the NNW @ 5 feet / 10 seconds.
BACK OF THE FLEET BOATS: Winds from the NNW clocking to the NW @ 6 to 10 knots. Seas from the S moving to the NW @ 5 feet / 9-13 seconds.

Race Director Chris Martin has been crunching the numbers to find reasons why there are differences between the speed of the crews with a special focus on the differences between night and day time rowing.

Average night time speed

Average daytime speed

Average day time speed
shown as a percentage of the
Average night time speed

 CC4 Pacific




 Fat Chance








 Pacific Warriors












 Uniting Nations




After looking at these figures we came to the following conclusions:

  • Fat Chance Row on Roosevelt are significantly faster in the day than the night.  This is no surprise there as we know they are both sleeping at night and both rowing during the day. However, during the night Roosevelt is being blown by the wind/wafted by the waves faster than CC4 Pacific on La Cigogne who have one crew member rowing on the oars during the night.  Due to the different design of these two boats, there are separate classes for Open Pairs and Classic Pairs. (Click here for more information.)  Also because of their sleep pattern it means that Sami and Meredith wake up in the morning refreshed after a full nights’ sleep and so are able to pull harder on the oars during the day.
  • Battleborn on Patience and Pacific Warriors on Limited Intelligence row at about the same speed during the day and the night. The design of their boats, however are quite different.  Limited Intelligence has a hull that is a full 5ft longer than that the 24ft hull of Patience. This longer hull means the boat weighs more and has a greater wetted area (generating more friction) meaning she moves slower through the water for the same amount of effort but providing more storage space which is invaluable for four person teams.
  • NOMAN on Isabel and to a lesser extent Boatylicious on Black Oyster, as well as both of our pairs teams (discussed above) are slower during the night than the day.  This could be down to the natural diurnal rhythm of the rowers and the natural release of Melatonin by the rower’s bodies in their making them feel more tired at night and less inclined to pull hard on the oars.
  • Uniting Nations on Danielle is actually faster during the night than they are during the day.  It is possible that they are focusing on resting and sleeping as much as possible during the day so they feel more alert during the night.


We’ve already touched on how the speed of the boat is influenced by various factors such as the strength of the crew and the boat design.  On today’s Battleborn show on the radio broadcast from FlashFM Oxford, there was much discussion about the difference between a v-bottom boat such as La Cigogne (CC4 Pacific) or Limited Intelligence (Pacific Warriors) and a flat bottom boat such as Roosevelt (Fat Chance Row). The v-shaped boat, dipping deeper into the water, is better in heavier weather.  A flat bottom boat tends to roll more making application of rowing effort more difficult.  It can also “plane” or surf down the face of a wave easier when traveling with the waves and has a lower wetted area which generates less friction and will travel further for the same amount of effort.  Fat Chance’s boat Roosevelt is also lighter in weight than other teams. This again means they travel further for less effort. As our teams get further into the trades and calmer seas, it will be interesting to continue to crunch these numbers to see if these theories persist.

All the boats within the individual classes are of the same design. Therefore, the fact that Uniting Nations continues to pull away and NOMAN continues to catch up to Team Battleborn leads us to conclude that it is rowing skill and physical strength of the crews that is making the differences in speed.

Once again, we are seeing that in the last 24 hours, Uniting Nations is pulling further ahead of Team Battleborn and NOMAN is inching closer to Team Battleborn.  The most impressive gain, however, was by our ladies on Team Boatylicious.  Through a combination of speed and by subtly changing their course they have put an additional 19 NM between them and CC4 Pacific. Team Boatylicious also logged their highest 24 hour number to date at 45 NM in that period.  Nice work girls!

We also have another team over the half way mark as NOMAN have rowed down to only 1031 NM to go to reach Hawaii. We congratulate them on achieving this milestone.

Solo Racers:
Project Flight Plan: Withdrawn
Rowing 4 Reefs: Retired
Elsa Hammond: ROWING – Position 8; 2040 NM to finish, Rowed 526 NM
Row for Hope: Retired

Pair Racers:
Clearly Contacts CA: Withdrawn
CC4 Pacific: ROWING – Position 7; 1482 NM to finish, Rowed 961 NM
Fat Chance: ROWING – Position 5; 1348 NM to finish, Rowed 1071 NM

Four Person Teams:
Battleborn: ROWING – Position 2; 817 NM to finish, Rowed 1483 NM
Boatylicious: ROWING – Position 6; 1403 NM to finish, Rowed 906 NM
NOMAN: ROWING – Position 3; 1031 NM to finish, Rowed 1301 NM
Pacific Rowers: Retired
Pacific Warriors: ROWING – Position 4; 1195 NM to finish, Rowed 1139 NM
Uniting Nations: ROWING – Position 1; 621 NM to finish, Rowed 1656 NM