WEATHER: Winds from the ENE @ 13 to 17 knots. Seas from the SW @ 6 feet / 14-15 seconds.
CC4 Pacific continue to make excellent progress toward Hawaii. At the time of this writing, they had only 336 NM to go before reaching the shores of Waikiki. Rumors have been heard that their wine supply is quickly diminishing. Will this result in an increase of their speed in the coming days in an effort to reach the wine supply of Hawaii or a decrease in speed as the power of the wine decreases? Only time will tell.
In the meantime, they seem to have caught a lucky break with the ocean currents they are experiencing. Only a few miles to the north and the currents would carry them away from Hawaii as it is there are some lighter currents nudging them in the right direction before they arrive at the north and north west flowing currents flowing up past the Big Island and Maui.
Fortunately, during their entire time at sea, (currently 67 days) our French Cousins have not experienced any major medical issues. One of the many goals of the Great Pacific Race is to keep our rowers healthy and safe. Each rower goes through a first aid training course. We also have remote and on site medical personnel to assist in just about any situation imaginable. Our medical support starts at the time rowers express interest in the Great Pacific Race. Potential rowers fill out a medical questionnaire allowing them to highlight any medical issues or concerns thereby allowing us to address these issues at the earliest possible time.
During the pre-race checks, medical personnel are on site to conduct seminars and provide some basic training on what rowers should do in emergency situations or in the event of an injury. Face to face medical evaluations are conducted with the team as a whole as well as with each individual rower. Medical kits that rowers take with them on their journey are not only checked through but the medical personnel also walk through the contents of the kit with the teams so they are aware of all of the contents and know how to use them.
Once rowers start the race, our medical consultants are on call 24-7 in the event they are needed. Rowers are able to call in with any type of question. In this inaugural edition of the Great Pacific Race, our medical consultants have received calls regarding sea sickness, the aggravation of pre-existing conditions, minor infections, salt sores, hand cramps and the unsightly “barnacle butt” which was the most common ailment seen thus far across all of our rowers.
For the 2014 Great Pacific Race, our primary medical consultant has been Dr. Aenor Sawyer from the University of California, San Francisco Department of Orthopedic Surgery. With her expertise in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine combined with her background as a Physical Therapist and Exercise Physiologist allow her to provide comprehensive remote medical coverage for our rowers. She is also one of the pioneers of digital health and tele-medicine. Dr. Sawyer was the Expedition Medic for Ocean Rower and Great Pacific Race Consultant Roz Savage, who set world records in solo crossings of three major oceans.
Ensuring optimal health and safety of the rowers is challenging due to its remote nature. Dr. Sawyer employs remote sensing / communications systems to provide medical oversight and has contributed to the design of wearable sensor suits and remote communication platforms. Collaborating with expedition communication networks such as Sentinel is also essential. The challenges and creative solutions required to provide such remote care led to her coining the phrase “Satellite Medicine.”
Once rowers finish the race, our medical team in on hand again to do a post race evaluation. Rowers are closely watched for the first 24-48 hours after they arrive as this is the most critical time when injuries tend to flare up as their bodies adjust to being back on shore. Callused hands, salt sores and getting back their sea legs have been the biggest issues we have seen on shore. The most common treatment needed has been antibiotics.
Since Ocean Rowing as a recognized sport is still in it infancy, many services and guidelines are still being developed. The information collected from major events such as the Great Pacific Race has allowed our race organizers to create a base line for future events, more specific to the needs of ocean rowers.
The medical safety and health of the rowers in the Great Pacific Race is of great importance to the race organizers and these services are just one aspect of what to expect when you sign up to participate in the Great Pacific Race for 2016.
Official Great Pacific Race Results found here.