La Cigogne Rides Out the Storms
WEATHER: Winds up to 50 knots gusting higher. Seas from the ESE moving to the SE @ 21-22 feet / 13-14 seconds.
On day 61 of the Great Pacific Race, we are down to one boat still in the race. Our attention on them is still as strong as it was when we had 13 boats preparing to head out to the start line of the first ever Great Pacific Race. Although it may seem as though we are in the mode of wrapping things up, our dedication to ensuring the safety of our one remaining crew is still our first priority.
At their current location, CC4 Pacific are experiencing conditions that would be considered a Force 9 (on the Beaufort Scale). This scale was developed in 1805 by Sir Francis Beauford, from the Royal Navy. In the early 19th century, naval officers made regular weather observations, but there was no standard scale and so these could be quite subjective – one man’s “stiff breeze” might be described by another as a “soft breeze”. Beaufort succeeded in standardizing the scale.
According to the modern Beaufort scale, the conditions for CC4 Pacific would be considered strong gale (Force 9) conditions, with high (23-35 ft.) waves whose crests sometimes roll over. Dense foam is blown along by the wind and large amounts of airborne spray may begin to reduce visibility. Add this to some pretty heavy rainfall and it would be difficult for the French cousins to determine where the rain ended and the spray began. We are confident that CC4 have already secured their trash and are is riding out these strong breeze conditions well, with Clement and Christophe tucked into their cabin with their parachute anchor stretched out ahead of them.
As harsh as these strong gale conditions may sound, had CC4 Pacific not dropped their parachute anchor and slowed down 4 days ago, they would have been facing Force 12, 80kt (Hurricane force winds) with waves over 40ft high They would have been in a strong or whole gale with sustained winds of about 88 knots, gusting to 105 knots. At these wind speeds, the modern Beaufort Wind Scale defines the sea conditions as high to very high waves with overhanging crests. The air would be filled with foam. Waves would be over 45 feet and the seas turn completely white with driving spray and breaking surf-like waves. There is limited to no visibility at this point. The waves would be coming from a variety of directions as well. Think of a wake created by two power boats. As the two wakes merge, they push each other up and into the air. The overall conditions are much like that of the agitator cycle in modern day washing machines. Conditions such as these are seldom experienced on land, but if they were, trees would break or be uprooted and there would likely be considerable structural damage.
These are NOT conditions we want any of our rowers to experience, and we continue to encourage Clement and Christophe to stay on their parachute anchor until tomorrow morning. They did not need much encouragement to do this! We have been in communication with them, mostly by text message as having voice conversations is rather difficult in these conditions. Although it can be difficult to interpret feelings through text messages, we can tell from their text content that the French cousins are in good spirits. They sent their good wishes to both Pacific Warriors and Team Boatylicious for reaching the shores of Waikiki before the storms. And they mentioned that they are anxious to get back to the oars. This will most likely happen in another 12 hours or so, perhaps by Sunday morning.
As we have been doing, we will continue to monitor their position, and the current and predicted weather conditions including JULIO and any other weather systems that may develop.
MEANWHILE, back on shore …
The final boat check process is underway for both Pacific Warriors and Team Boatylicious. Both teams appeared this morning looking quite fresh and rested after riding out the moderate storm produced by ISELLE here on O’ahu. With JULIO heading far to the north of the Hawaiian Islands at this point, the tape is being removed from windows, tables and chairs are being placed back on the deck as life on the island gets back to normal. It’s a little more humid than usual and the skies are still a bit overcast, but sunny skies should return in the coming days. Boats will have their final cleaning and be placed on their trailers in preparation for shipping back to their home ports.
Great Pacific Race Headquarters is now accepting interest inquiries for the 2016 edition of the biggest, baddest human endurance challenge on the plant. If you have become intrigued with the idea of rowing across the Pacific after reading the adventurous tales from those in the inaugural edition of the race, just fill in the form on our contact page and we will be in touch with you as soon as we can! You have just under two years to complete training, raise funds, and get your boat and equipment ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
Official Great Pacific Race Results found here.
Uniting Nations: FINISHED
Fat Chance: FINISHED
Pacific Warriors: FINISHED
Boatylicious: ROWING – FINISHED
CC4 Pacific: ROWING – 552 NM to finish, Rowed 1919 NM
Elsa Hammond: Retired
Pacific Rowers: Retired
Row for Hope: Retired
Rowing 4 Reefs: Retired
Clearly Contacts CA: Withdrawn
Project Flight Plan: Withdrawn