CC4 PACIFIC BATTLE STORMS WHILST BOATYLICIOUS CELEBRATE IN HAWAII
WEATHER: For CC4 Pacific: Winds building to 35kt -40kt and 20ft seas as Hurricane Julio passes to their south.
It’s been a busy time for all of us at the Great Pacific Race with two hurricanes, two arrivals and one boat still on the water. Christophe and Clément are currently 560 NM from the finish off Diamond Head, O’ahu, Hawaii. Several of those watching have expressed concern knowing that there have been two hurricanes (ISELLE and JULIO) in the area. Strong winds and large waves are produced by storms like this and radiate out from the central storm for hundreds of miles.
As most of you will know Ocean row boats have a basic design that is built on the lifeboats that were dropped from planes to aid in air sea rescues. They have an airtight cabin at each end of the boat and are designed to self right if capsized. Each of the boats in the Great Pacific Race have already been through a capsize test to prove their sea worthiness and ability to self right without assistance. The boats also have other items of equipment that they can use to help keep them safe.
We have been tracking these two hurricanes for a while and saw the potential danger a few days ago. We asked CC4 Pacific to deploy their parachute anchor which acts like a giant parachute in the water halting their progress and forcing the boat to point into the oncoming waves reducing the risk of capsize. This has all but stopped their progress towards Hawaii and means that JULIO will pass to their south rather than directly over the top of them meaning that they will encounter relatively lighter winds and smaller seas than if they had continued to row. However, hazardous conditions can and do occur outside the cone and so CC4 should prepare for severe weather of 28-38kt winds and 20ft long period breaking swells. It is going to get very rough but this will only last around 24 hours and after peaking at lunchtime on Saturday (local time) they should start to see improvement in the conditions.
When JULIO has passed at its closest point to CC4 they will be able to haul in the parachute anchor and start rowing again as the wind and waves will continue to push them in the right direction. In this instance they can also deploy a drogue off the stern of their boat which keeps the back end of their boat pointing into the waves again reducing the risk of capsize.
ISELLE has already passed their position and last night we received a text from them indicating that the weather was no worse than they had already faced off the Californian coastline. Today we got another text from the CC4.
“We are still waiting for JULIO, all is fine for us, we will be happy to restart rowing asap. What about Pac Warriors and Boatylicious?”
Christophe and Clément are so considerate and kind to be thinking of the other teams when we are all thinking of them and it is this that makes us love them ever more. We continue to monitor their position, weather updates from a number of sources and forecasting tools and we talk to the crew on a regular basis to advise them of the best course of action to keep them safe.
However, here on the Hawaiian Islands it has been all about the girls in the last 24 hours. The celebrations around the safe arrival of Team Boatylicious went well into the night with family, friends and crew members from both Boatylicious and Pacific Warriors. Before the night was over, a KITV news crew stopped by for live broadcast interviews with Race Director Chris Martin as well as with our Boatylicious girls.
This morning we are experiencing the effects of ISELLE as she passes south of O’hau. High winds ranging from 30-50 knots and scattered squalls are blanketing the island. Although the surf is up and the island locals are very much enjoying the big waves, we are all extremely glad that both Pacific Warriors and Team Boatylicious were tucked into their beds last night instead of being out on the mighty Pacific.
Each arrival is celebrated, but yesterday our thoughts were also with CC4 Pacific on La Cigogne as they ride out the storms.
“We celebrate each arrival, but my thoughts, as well as those of friends, family and our support team were also with CC4 Pacific. We are relieved to have both Pacific Warriors and Team Boatylicious safely here on shore, but are also keeping a close eye on the position of CC4 Pacific and JULIO. The safety of our crews are always our first priority, even if that means passing on some of the arrival celebrations.
The support teams of the Great Pacific Race have been on double duty lately, between manning the support yachts to ensure the safe arrivals of Pacific Warriors and Team Boatylicious, and also making sure that the boats in the marina are prepared to weather the storms. Our team worked late into the night to create an elaborate system of securing these ocean rowing boats to withstand whatever these storms might bring. The crew of the Galen Diana, after securing their vessel at the marina, also had a much needed night of rest after being on point for the arrivals of Pacific Warriors and Team Boatylicious.
Tomorrow both Pacific Warriors and Team Boatylicious will go through their final scutineering on their boats, and we will continue to monitor the situation with CC4 Pacific and keep everyone posted on their safety as well as their expected arrival in Hawaii.
Official Great Pacific Race Results found here.