A PUSH IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Today’s cover photo of our all girls team of Team Boatylicious on board Black Oyster. The ladies were intercepted by our Support Boat at approximately 08:45 PDT on July 20 at Lat 24.04.216 N / Long 140.57.538 W.
LEAD BOATS: Winds from the E @ 14 to 24 knots. Seas from the E @ 9 feet / 9 seconds.
MIDDLE BOATS: Winds from the ENE @ 11 to 19 knots. Seas from the E @ 5 feet / 8 seconds.
BACK OF THE FLEET BOATS: Winds from the NNE @ 9 to 12 knots. Seas from the E @ 5 feet / 8 seconds.
In addition to the sighting of the girls from our Support Boat, we also heard that our ladies were doing a little celebrating recently as they had not only crossed the halfway mark but also shortly afterwards had dipped under the 1.000 NM mark. Celebrations this time did not include any fancy rum cocktails similar to those on the menu for Ingrid’s recent birthday as the girls are determined to “crack on” and stay motivated. Their spirits are high (as are their daily mileages) and they have had some of the best days so far. The ladies certainly look happy in today’s photo and so they should be as they extended their lead over CC4 Pacific by one nautical mile an hour (24 NM in the last 24 hours).
It has not been all fun and games for the girls, however, as they have reported a steering issue. It is nothing major, and more of an annoyance than anything else. A fitting where the foot steering is attached to the footplate has worn down, causing the ladies to have to turn their foot more in order to make the rudder turn the same amount. They are working on fixing this, but it should not affect their overall speed.
There has been quite a bit of weather here on the island as the remnants of Wali passed over Hawaii last night resulting in high winds and lots of rain. We discovered that according to the Hawaiian Dictionary, Wali means “smooth, thin, as poi.” It also has a second meaning of “supple, limber, as a dancer’s body.” Although this is what the storm pattern of Wali has become, it certainly didn’t feel like it here on land last night as rain lashed down and winds gusted.
For our rowers, Uniting Nations was the biggest benefactor of what was left of Wali, since they are only 114 NM from O’ahu. Uniting Nations have experienced increased winds which have given the a welcome shove in the direction of Hawaii. In the last 24 hours, we have finally seen an increase in their speed instead of the slow decrease we had seen over the last week. Team Uniting Nations, and also Team Battleborn, logged 63 NM in the last 24 hours. Perhaps the smell of land is spurring on our lead boat as the finally a way to row together with two broken seats.
A bit further away Team Battleborn did not benefit as much from last night’s strong weather and the distance between the boats in first and second position remains the same as it was yesterday at 134 NM. For Uniting Nations the wheels have already fallen off (their seats) so it’s difficult to see what else could happen to them to slow them down enough to give Battleborn another chance to take the lead.
Both of these teams will see clouds on the horizon soon that don’t appear to be moving. These clouds usually signify land and (as they are above the land) are seen before the land itself can be seen when approaching from the sea. Race Director Chris Martin reflected on what it was like when he first saw land after his ocean rows.
“I remember being absolutely elated when we first spotted land. We had seen a grey cloud on the horizon for most of the day and it took quite a while before we realised that this was the cloud above the coast of California. Gradually we got closer and could eventually make out the shape of the coastline on the horizon. Being able to see the first light at night was a truly special moment but rowing around the corner to see the Golden Gate Bridge (our finish line) for the first time was a magical moment and one that I carry with me forever.
It will be much the same for the rowers in the Great Pacific Race. First they will see the mountain of Haleakala, the 10,000ft high mountain on Maui to their south, but as that is not the island they are heading to they may feel some slight frustration as well. The iconic Diamond Head creator will give them a second boost as it marks the finish line and the end of your voyage.
Once our teams spot land, they will still have a few more days and nights of rowing. They will spot the lights on the islands that will twinkle like the stars they have become accustom to, guiding them to the finish line where family and friends are already starting to gather for our lead teams arrivals. Complete details on the finish can be found here.
GREAT PACIFIC RACE STANDINGS as of 1:00 pm PDT today
- Uniting Nations: ROWING – 114 NM to finish, Rowed 2166 NM
- Battleborn: ROWING – 248 NM to finish, Rowed 2065 NM
- NOMAN: ROWING – 490 NM to finish, Rowed 1844 NM
- Pacific Warriors: ROWING – 741 NM to finish, Rowed 1596 NM
- Fat Chance: ROWING – 802 NM to finish, Rowed 1626 NM
- Boatylicious: ROWING – 940 NM to finish, Rowed 1383 NM
- CC4 Pacific: ROWING – 1215 NM to finish, Rowed 1241 NM
Elsa Hammond: ROWING – New route to Mexico (destination TBC); Rowed 674 NM