Day 53 Race Report

Posted on August 2, 2014 in Battleborn, Boatylicious, CC4 Pacific, Crews, Fat Chance, General, Great Pacific Race 2014, NOMAN


LEAD BOATS: Winds from the E @ 12 to 20 knots. Seas from the ESE @ 7 feet / 8-9 seconds.
MIDDLE BOATS:  Winds from the E @ 15 to 22 knots. Seas from the ESE @ 8-9 feet / 8 seconds.
BACK OF THE FLEET BOATS:  Winds from the ENE @ 13 to 18 knots. Seas from the SSE @ 6 feet / 12 seconds.

Once again we have a weather system that we are keeping one eye on whilst the other watches our rowers. The later we get in the year, the higher the risk of tropical storms and other severe weather. Safety is always our first priority and we applaud the decisions, sometimes difficult, that our rowers must make for the sake of their safety.

Tropical Storm Iselle has popped up on the radar. These are early days in the storms development and as we have seen with other systems on the Pacific, these weather systems do eventually become downgraded and dissipate but they can also alter their course. Iselle is currently closer to Mexico than Hawaii and tracking further south than the race route but at this distance it has the potential to provide row boats with some significant periods of weather. As the closest crew to this system CC4 Pacific are the most likely crew to be affected by this weather. Today we talked through when this stronger winds were likely to arrive (towards the end of next week), and what they could do to prepare (ensure everything is secured and lashed down and that they have a drogue and parachute anchor ready. As our French team continues to row to the west, they will most likely receive a solid shove towards Hawaii as this system passes hundreds of miles to their south. They will most likely see some stronger seas as well, and some moderately challenging conditions but likely to be less aggressive than those already witnessed by the team off the coast of California.  In speaking to the cousins today we hear that they still have 7 litres of wine so feel confident that this should be enough to see them through until Hawaii.

Again, these are early days and it really is too soon to fully predict what will happen with Tropical Storm Iselle when it gets close enough to the rowers to be a problem, but we’ll keep a close eye on her.

We are also keeping a close eye on the Yellowbrick tracker as Fat Chance Row has raced through the 100 NM mark. As with our other teams, position updates now come in every 30 minutes and the excitement is once again rising on shore as preparations are in full swing to welcome Sami Inkinen and Meredith Loring. As friends and family gather, we have taken note that there are no divorce lawyers on the welcome list, as we are thrilled to know that the “divorce-o-meter” has barely moved during their journey!

MEANWHILE, back on shore …

There has been a constant stream of messages of support and now congratulations from family, friends and sponsors to our teams and rowers. There were even some video messages sent in for Team NOMAN upon their arrival. The team was thrilled to receive those messages of welcome and congratulations, and they said the best part was to see the faces of of their family, friends and supporters from afar.

In an earlier race report, we discussed the many differences between the boats in the Great Pacific Race such as the Open Class and the Classic Class. There are two boats in this races that are just absolutely identical (Uniting Nations and NOMAN.) Both boats were built but SeaSabre, for the NOMAN Barcelona to Ibiza race run in the years between the Great Pacific Race years. SeaSabre sent us this note of congratulations to both teams:

“We at Seasabre send huge congratulations to team Uniting Nations on winning this inaugural Great Pacific Race and are very proud to have constructed the boat that carried them across the finish line in such a great time. It should also be said that the NOMAN crew, having started 2 days later, have shown great tenacity to push the front boats right to the wire. A big well done to them too! “We pride ourselves in the build quality of our boats and the knowledge that the crews will be safe at sea. “So Craig, Andre, Junho & Casper and Nick, Chris, Jack & Mark, bloody well done!”

In closing today, we have a final blog post from Team Battleborn. Written by Phil Cavanagh on the eve of their departure from Hawaii as they are now on airplanes taking the “fast” route across oceans to their final destinations. Dan Kierath is headed back to Australia, while Barry Haes, Darren Taylor and Philip Cavanagh still get to spend a little more time together on their flights back to the UK.

“We can’t believe we’re coming to the end of this adventure. Its been quite a nostalgic few days for us, especially with the arrival of Team NOMAN, who we got on great with in Monterey. We were able to relive our row vicariously through their stories upon arrival. We saw them in pretty much the same disoriented state we arrived in, unable to walk and completely overwhelmed with the amount of people that came down to see them at the Waikiki Yacht Club.”

“We describe the horrendous conditions to media, tell friends and family about the size of the waves, and recall countless tales of sleepless days, hot cabins, and no privacy. Yet it’s near impossible to describe how it really was, both the good times and the bad. It’s a very strong bond we’ve developed as a result of these shared moments at sea. We were forced to either work together as a team or struggle as four individuals. I’m very proud of Team Battleborn. We all brought very different strengths (and weaknesses) to the team which just worked.”

“I don’t think I’ve adapted to being back on land yet. There are times when I feel a third party in conversations I’m having, like a bystander or not completely with it. 8 hours sleep is ‘too much’, the body has adapted to 2 hours at a time. Walking was pretty tiring for the first few days, as it was an exercise we weren’t used to. There are times when it feels like there are too many people in a room, and conversation is going at 90 degrees. We’re used to having just one person to talk to, and spending a 4 hour shift talking about a sandwich was not uncommon out there. … Conversations didn’t flow, but they didn’t need to. It took us a while, but we found peace out there. Life was simple, and while the physical exertion took its toll, we had it so so easy. Eat-sleep-row-repeat.”

“When people look at a tombstone, they look at what they believe are the most important pieces of information on the stone – the two dates. These dates are actually completely irrelevant to a persons life. Whats really important is that little dash in between them, this is where the magic happens. So make something with your dash.”

Well said lads.  Of course we trust there will be a healthy gap between the years at either end of the dash.

Official Great Pacific Race Results found here.

Uniting Nations: FINISHED
Battleborn: FINISHED
Fat Chance: ROWING – 75 NM to finish, Rowed 2368 NM
Pacific Warriors: ROWING – 236 NM to finish, Rowed 2105 NM
Boatylicious: ROWING – 348 NM to finish, Rowed 1989 NM
CC4 Pacific: ROWING – 775 NM to finish, Rowed 1690 NM

Elsa Hammond: Retired – Under tow – destination San Diego
Pacific Rowers: Retired
Row for Hope: Retired
Rowing 4 Reefs: Retired
Clearly Contacts CA: Retired
Project Flight Plan: Retired