Day 54 Race Report

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


LEAD BOAT: Winds from the E @ 13 to 18 knots. Seas from the ESE @ 7-8 feet / 8 seconds.
MIDDLE BOAT:  Winds from the E @ 14 to 19 knots. Seas from the SSE @ 8 feet / 12-13 seconds.
BACK OF THE FLEET BOAT:  Winds from the ENE @ 14 to 20 knots. Seas from the SSW @ 7 feet / 14 seconds.

This morning at 06:43 HST, the happily married couple of Sami Inkinen and Meredith Loring were the first pairs team and the first Open Class boat to row across the finish line of the Great Pacific Race.  Inkinen is not only the first Finnish man to row the Pacific, but he is also the first Finnish man to row ANY ocean.  Inkinen and Loring are also the first open pair to row the Pacific.  We congratulate them on this incredible accomplishment.

Inkinen and Loring are California based, ultra-endurance athletes.  Just three short weeks before the start of the Great Pacific Race, Loring competed in the Everest Marathon.  The couple left Monterey, California nine days later than the official race start in the second wave of rowers who departed on June 18th at 06:00. Their preliminary race time of 53 days, 23 hours and 43 minutes is based on the official start time of the race on June 9th. Complete and final race results can be found here after official post race checks have been completed.

Usually upon arrival, teams sit down to a meal of burgers, fruit and ice cream sundaes.  That was not the case for these extreme athletes who have done this row to highlight the dangers of sugar as a macro-nutrient and processed foods after Inkinen was diagnosed as pre-diabetic a few years ago despite his athleticism. Despite being at sea they still adhered to the no-sugar, no-carb diet that they follow when on land. Upon their arrival, Loring was the first of our rowers to have actually increased her weight by 1.2 kilos however having completed the Everest Marathon at marathon race weight just 3 weeks before the start of the race this is perhaps not surprising. Inkinen had shed 9.8 kilos.  Both were looking extremely fit and where we have become accustom to seeing tiger stripes along rowers abdomens, these two showed up with beautifully and evenly tanned six pack abs.

This team has been quite resourceful on their journey.  Loring has repurposed a number of items on the boat including using her sports bra as an eye mask and Duct tape as a way to “wax” her legs prior to arrival in Hawaii. When she received her welcome bag, the first thing she noticed was the razor which the mentioned would immediately be put to use.

There were several very impressive elements about their row. The team had an unconventional way of rowing with both team members on the oars together, and then they would rest together. Usually teams will take it in turns to row so that someone is always at the oars. With this method of having two power-house athletes at the oars together for at least 12 (and in the last week up to 18 hours per day), allowed them to power past teams that had started nine days before them. Another speed advantage they had was their Open Class (boat built by Rannoch and which won the rowing race across the Atlantic last winter), which has a number of speed advantages including a bigger cabin at the bow which catches more wind and the flat hull which has lower friction than classic boat designs. In their last 24 hours, the teams logged the highest daily mileage… an astounding 81 NM.

When they stepped off the boat and onto land for the first time, the first thing they did was embrace. It was a very emotional moment, and there was not a divorce attorney in sight.

IMG_0896 ©Ellen Hoke Photography

Upon their arrival, Race Director Chris Martin said:

“As experienced ultra-endurance athletes Sami and Meredith had a good idea of the physical side of the challenges that the biggest and baddest endurance race on the planet would offer. But racing together as husband and wife must have provided additional challenges. We have been so impressed by their meticulous attention to detail from the moment that they approached us about racing across the Pacific last year and we are thrilled that their preparations have come to triumphant fruition as they arrive in Hawaii in fine style. We congratulate Sami as becoming the first Finnish man to row any ocean and the duo for becoming the first open class pair to row the Pacific.”

We congratulate Sami and Meredith on this incredible achievement.

Official Great Pacific Race Results found here.

Uniting Nations: FINISHED
Battleborn: FINISHED
Fat Chance: FINISHED
Pacific Warriors: ROWING – 195 NM to finish, Rowed 2146 NM
Boatylicious: ROWING – 291 NM to finish, Rowed 2046 NM
CC4 Pacific: ROWING – 736 NM to finish, Rowed 1729 NM

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