40 Days and 40 Nights…of rowing an ocean
LEAD BOATS: Winds from the ENE @14-22 knots. Seas from the E @ 7-8 feet / 9 seconds
MIDDLE BOATS: Winds from the ENE @ 12-18 knots. Seas from the ENE moving to the E @ 7 feet / 9 seconds
BACK OF THE FLEET BOATS: Winds from the ENE @ 7-10 knots. Seas from the ENE @6 feet / 8 seconds
The closer our teams get to Hawaii, the closer the two lead boats are getting. Today there are only 134 NM separating Uniting Nations and Team Battleborn. But the question on everyone’s lips is will Team Battleborn be able to overtake the lead boat? All week Uniting Nations has produced a lower 24 hour mileage than Team Battleborn. They have reported two broken seats and are working out their new rhythm for rowing. Battleborn, have been rowing faster and taking bigger and bigger bites out of the distance between the boats. They might run out of time or they just might make an overtaking manoeuvre stick in the final days of this inaugural event? Over the last week, whilst keeping a close eye on the predicted arrival time shown in the leader board we have seen both teams be shown as first across the line. Who will make it first? There’s not long to wait to find out. Be sure to stay tuned.
We are very pleased that Tropical Storm Wali was quickly downgraded has now dissipated. Teams at the front of the fleet may see some heavy rainfall here and there, and for those friends and family that are already here in Hawaii, cloudy skies and some showers are expected in the coming days. We are constantly monitoring weather condtions as well as currents out there in the mighty Pacific. Today we include a graphy showing the conditions our lead boats are experincing as they approach the island. Reports are that the shout of “LAND HO” could occur when teams are about 100 NM out as they spot Haleakala, the 10,000ft high mountain on Maui to their south, which could be any time now for Uniting Nations.
Yesterday shared the waxing poetry from the French cousins on CC4 Pacific. There must have been some incredible skies out there as similar messages have been flooding in from other boats as well regarding the amazing skies both day and night.
Team Battleborn, write:
“When we were awoken to start our shift by Billy and Phil our only company was rain and the dark. Ever so slowly the clouds passed leaving the sky like a slate roof speckled with the stars of winter’s first frost above a turbid pool of the blackest of inks. The only contrast to this was the occasional breaking whitecap or the moon reflecting upon the seemingly endless rows of swell. Just as it seemed as if day would never break, a faint yellow glow could be seen on the horizon. It fought slowly and valiantly against the otherwise colourless sky but once a foothold had been gained, it wasn’t long before the sky was exploding with vibrant blues and shafts of warm orange in every direction. With nothing other manmade besides our boat to spoil the view, nor emails or texts to spoil the moment, Barry and I rowed on – accompanied by the simplistic orchestral tones of the waves gently lapping agains the hull and the splash of our oars at the catch. These are the times that we will relish as ocean rowers. These are the times that make it all worthwhile.”
Is it possible that from 530 NM away, that Team Fat Chance Row was having the exact same experience?
“This morning (July 18) we witnessed the most amazing sunrise, with red and gold light creeping up over the horizon to reflect on meandering clouds which had broken off from the total cloud cover we’ve been experiencing for the last month. We gazed and commented to each other how unbelievable it is that this is only the second visible sunrise for us in the last 30 days. It was worth the wait.”
At night, Fat Chance Row describes the skies:
“The break in the cloud cover also means that we can see the stars at night, but saying ‘see the stars’ doesn’t quite do the experience justice. Both Sami and I come from extremely rural areas … but this sky is more expansive, more expressive. Standing on the boat at night can be extremely disorienting, without light you can’t tell where the sea ends and the sky begins. Standing on the same boat, in the same seas, under a perfectly black sky lit with millions of bright stars is completely different. The sea shimmers grey and reflects some brighter stars and the half moon, every detail clearly visible, utterly magical. It’s truly amazing to be out here experiencing that sky all alone, completely surrounded by it.”
While star gazing and catching the morning sunrise, Fat Chance Row, for the first time in quite some time, stayed relatively constant in distance between their two closest competitors, Team Boatylicious behind them and the Pacific Warriors in front of them. The Pacific Warriors are still within striking distance for Fat Chance Row to catch up as only 63 NM separate them, and there is the time to make this happen as these teams are expect to finish in about two weeks time.
For our French Team on CC4 Pacific, they had not one, not two but THREE swims yesterday to refresh themselves. Reports are that they were “escorted by what seemed to be THREE barracudas. No aggressiveness from them but they took their knife anyway… just in case.” As we know things tend to happen in three’s so what the third THREE experience could be for them we await to find out.
As we get closer to the first finishers, we have been updating our website with information for those who are in Hawaii, and also for those following from afar. Information on the official finish line (at the lighthouse at Diamond Head) and what happens next can all be found under the “Finish Information” section. Please be sure to keep an eye on this section for additional updates as boats near the finish line.
GREAT PACIFIC RACE STANDINGS as of 1:00 pm PDT today
- Uniting Nations: ROWING – 177 NM to finish, Rowed 2103 NM
- Battleborn: ROWING – 311 NM to finish, Rowed 2002 NM
- NOMAN: ROWING – 544 NM to finish, Rowed 1790 NM
- Pacific Warriors: ROWING – 798 NM to finish, Rowed 1539 NM
- Fat Chance: ROWING – 861 NM to finish, Rowed 1565 NM
- Boatylicious: ROWING – 990 NM to finish, Rowed 1332 NM
- CC4 Pacific: ROWING – 1241 NM to finish, Rowed 1212 NM
Elsa Hammond: ROWING – New route to Mexico (destination TBC); Rowed 655 NM