Day 46 Race Report

Posted on July 25, 2014 in Battleborn, Boatylicious, CC4 Pacific, Crews, Fat Chance, General, NOMAN, Pacific Warriors, Uniting Nations

CROUCHING TIGER LINES AND MESSAGES BACK AND FORTH

WEATHER:
LEAD BOATS:  Winds from the E @ 13 to 18 knots. Seas from the ESE @ 6 feet / 9 seconds.
MIDDLE BOATS:  Winds from the ENE clocking to the E @ 12 to 17 knots. Seas from the ESE @ 6-7 feet / 9 seconds.
BACK OF THE FLEET BOATS:  Winds from the ENE @ 12 to 17 knots. Seas from the ESE @ 6 feet / 9 seconds.

As of today, all of the boats participating in the Great Pacific Race have crossed over the half way mark.  The closest land for all our teams is Hawaii and we are very much looking forward to having each of them arrive.  News of the first two finishers has reached our crews still racing. It’s a testament to just how gracious these teams are that messages of congratulations have been received from those still at sea for Team Battleborn.

There was a fantastic sense of comradeship between the teams during the pre-race period in Monterey when teams were preparing their boats for the start but it is fantastic to see that this sense of community continues long afterwards.  Teams still at sea must experience some mixed emotions when they hear the news of other teams finishing.  On the one hand it is nice to know that your fellow competitor has completed his or her journey.  On the other hand, this information does nothing to change your situation or distance to Hawaii.  The Great Pacific Race is very much a mental challenge as well as a physical challenge so this news could be taken in many different ways.  Teams need to find a way to process this and any information they receive from outside of their boat in the most positive way possible to benefit their own journey.

Of course there are the obvious physical challenges that rowing for at least 12 hours a day represents. And then there are the mechanical challenges too, like the broken foot plate used for steering on Team Boatylicious.  The girls have decided that the time and effort it would take to make their foot steering 100% efficient outweigh the overall benefit they would receive from making the fix, so they are simply carrying on.  As you can see by the daily mileages in the race reports over the last week or so, their daily distance traveled has been down a little bit recently as they have adjusted to their damaged steering system.

Team CC4 Pacific has done a great job in increasing their speed recently and have finally rowed through the halfway mark.  We know they received a bit of a soaking the other day, but it certainly hasn’t dampened their determination as they press on toward Hawaii.

The Pacific Warriors are heading into warmer weather, and have joined the naked rowing club.  Matt Lasky made the following observation via a movie reference to explain what this feeling is like:

In Contact when Jodie unbuckles herself from the seat in that machine and everything is suddenly serene. . . thats what rowing naked for the first time is like”

Fat Chance Row, with their Open Class, flat bottom boat, continue to log the highest number of miles of those team racing.  They are now closing the gap between themselves and Team NOMAN, but with a separation of 244 NM, and with only a few days until Team NOMAN are expected to arrive into Hawaii, this seems a step too far even for our ultra-fit pairs couple.

As teams get closer to the islands, clothes come off and the sun starts tanning the exposed skin.  We all know how this happens, and our teams were prepared with plenty of sun screen to protect them on their journey.  We are always pleased when we receive reports that our competitors are utilizing the lessons learnt before their departure, such as the importance of wearing sunscreen.  However, there are sometimes a few unexpected results, as explained by Meredith Loring of Fat Chance Row:

“As I pull forward on my seat, my knees came apart, revealing the white patch of sunscreen on their inside that has been driving me crazy trying to remove. Every night I scrub and scrub this patch, trying to get the white zinc off my skin. Once I’m in the cabin I see it again and try scraping it off frantically with wet-wipes. I spend a lot of time thinking about the sunscreen when I’m in bed, hot and uncomfortable.

I notice, as I drag the oars back, that my knees float back together. That’s funny, I think and watch again. It occurs to me then that the sunscreen I’ve been desperately trying to rid myself of is actually a tan line from my knees being pressed together as I row.”

Craig Hackett of Team Uniting Nations can certainly relate to this story.  Upon reaching shore Hackett stood tall and straight, exposing not only his many tattoos, but also some “tiger stripe” tan lines.

MEANWHILE, back on shore …
The Battleborn Boys slept for a solid ten hours last night.  One might think that after 45 days at sea and never having more than one hour of sleep at a time, that the boys would have tossed and turned all night.  Not a chance of that!

Still sporting the beards they grew while crossing the Pacific, but having, thankfully, showered several times, they have returned to Patience to give her the same clean-up treatment.  First, however, they had an interview with one of their biggest supporters, Flash FM Oxford Radio.  The banter between the boys continued and they laughed through the interview just as they had laughed their way across the Pacific.  “The best part of this experience has been getting to know these guys.  These three lads will be my mates for life”  said Dan Kierath when asked what the best part of the trip had been.

When reflecting on their experience, Kierath mentioned how the Great Pacific Race was 95% a mental challenge.

“Physically it wasn’t as hard as you would think – if you think you can row an ocean, then you can.”

They did approach this race with a competitive nature and admitted that it would have been nice to win.  However, for Team Battleborn, they did not want to lose sight of the experience they were having, so they decided they would be competitive but not at the expense of the experience.

The impact of what they have accomplished still has not quite sunk in.  The team received some messages from home, getting maybe 10-12 posts per day.  When they looked at their website, Facebook pages and emails, they were overwhelmed with the number of messages of support that were still waiting for them.  “We didn’t realize the impact of what we had done until we reached the shore.  It was just incredible!” said Darren Taylor when he saw all the messages of support.

Knowing how important those message can be, the Battleborn Boys wanted to send out a message to each of the crews still out there racing in the Great Pacific Race:

To CC4 PACIFIC: Enjoy every single second, it will be so worth it once you get to Hawaii. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.
To TEAM BOATYLICIOUS: Disappointed we won’t see you in your bikinis in Hawaii, although we were hoping you wouldn’t have any tan lines. You’re an inspiration to women everywhere.
To FAT CHANCE ROW: UNBELIEVABLE mileage guys! You’ll be there in no time. Keep it up!
To PACIFIC WARRIORS: GO SUSANNA and team. Barry has eaten a flying fish so he’s one up on you there!
To NOMAN: Can’t wait for another session with you lads in Hawaii. Following your progress every day #Nevergiveup.

GREAT PACIFIC RACE STANDINGS as of 1:00 pm PDT today

  1. Uniting Nations: FINISHED – 43 Days, 5 Hours, 30 Minutes, Rowed 2283 NM
  2. Battleborn: FINISHED– 45 Days, 7 Hours, 24 Minutes, Rowed 2319 NM
  3. NOMAN: ROWING – 240 NM to finish, Rowed 2094 NM
  4. Fat Chance: ROWING – 484 NM to finish, Rowed 1945 NM
  5. Pacific Warriors: ROWING – 507 NM to finish, Rowed 1831 NM
  6. Boatylicious: ROWING – 731 NM to finish, Rowed 1602 NM
  7. CC4 Pacific: ROWING – 1043 NM to finish, Rowed 1602 NM

Elsa Hammond: ROWING – New route to Mexico (destination TBC); Rowed 724 NM

Pacific Rowers: Retired
Row for Hope: Retired
Rowing 4 Reefs: Retired
Clearly Contacts CA: Withdrawn
Project Flight Plan: Withdrawn