Day 71 Race Report

Posted on August 19, 2014 in CC4 Pacific, General, Great Pacific Race 2014


WEATHER: Winds from the E clocking to the ENE @ 11 to 15 knots. Seas from the S moving to the SE @ 6 feet / 10-12 seconds.

With CC4 maintaining a focused and disciplined rowing regime it means that we haven’t had much in the way of communication from them and so we don’t have much new news to add from yesterday’s report.  They continue to make steady progress and we hope to greet them into the shores of Waikiki before the end of the week.  They are well under 100NM from the nearest land (Maui) and well under 200NM from the race finish.  In discussion with the families of CC4 Pacific last night we have found out that they have been very hungry for a lot of the voyage and with 80 days of food on their boat and their estimated arrival into Hawaii being on day 76 of their journey we do not anticipate there to be much food left on the boat when they arrive.

We have found from other rowers that in the last few days when their arrival time is a little more certain the crew have taken to eating more than their daily allocation of rations or at least have been more selective about what food they choose to  eat prioritizing their favorite dishes and ignoring those that they are less keen on.  We know that the pairs favorite dish, cheese, has already all been eaten but it may be that in the dwindling supplies there is still something that they are avoiding.  Hoping against hope that they will touch land before they have to start eating it.

Meanwhile we consider some of the things that make the Great Pacific Race special by looking back at one reason people choose to row an ocean: to set a record or be the first.

There are five oceans on the planet. Why might you choose to row the Pacific? The inaugural 2014 edition of the Great Pacific Race was the first event of it’s kind on the Pacific.  Never before had there been a human powered race like this on the waters of the Pacific. The next opportunity to accept this challenge is 2016, and entries are now being accepted.

The first ocean rowing trip across the Pacific was from East to West by John Fairfax and Sylvia Cook in 1971.  They took an island-hopping route from San Francisco to Hayman Island in Australia by way of a number of stops, allowing them to replenish their freshwater supplies and food reserves.  This mammoth journey took just under a year.  In 1976, Patrick Quesnel rowed single-handed from La Push, WA to Hawaii.  He was followed four years later by Peter Bird, also rowing by himself from California and arriving in Hawaii.  It is over this route from California to Hawaii that the Pacific Rowing Race is to run. In the 2014 edition of the race started in Monterey, California and ended in Waikiki, Hawaii. Prior to the Great Pacific Race, the record for this ocean rowing route was held by Mick Bird, who rowed it single-handed in 1997 in a time of 64 days.  While the solo record still stands, several new records have been set during the Great Pacific Race.
These include:

  • First four person crew to row the Pacific – Uniting Nations
  • Fastest row of the Pacific E-W mid route – land to land (no tow) by Uniting Nations – 43 days, 5 hours, 30 mintues
  • First open pair to row the Pacific
  • First mixed four to row the Pacific – Pacific Warriors
  • First New Zealand man to row the Pacific – Craig Hackett, Uniting Nations Row
  • First Korean to row any ocean – Junho Choi, Uniting Nations Row
  • First Finnish man to row any ocean – Sami Inkinen – Fat Chance Row
  • First Irish man to row the Pacific – Philip Cavanagh, Team Battleborn
  • First Irish woman to row the Pacific – Aoife Ni Mhaoileoin
  • First Australian to row the Pacific – Dan Kierath, Team Battleborn
  • First All female four to row the Pacific – Team Boatylicious
  • Youngest team to row the Pacific by Team NOMAN – Average age 24 at start
  • Youngest Person to row the Pacific – Nick Kempster – 24 years old at start

Rowing across an ocean isn’t just about setting or breaking records. Some crews are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  When Team Battleborn arrived in Waikiki as the second boat to complete the Great Pacific Race, they announced that if they had the opportunity complete the race five days faster and thus win, or five days longer for the experience, the team in unison said they would take the five extra days of the experience.

The most direct route across the Pacific from California to Hawaii is a little over 2,100 nautical miles (over 2,400 statue miles).  However, all crews are subjected to the same ocean conditions which push the boats off the optimal course.  This means the actual distance covered by each crew is longer than the straight line between the start and finish points. The nautical miles rowed in the 2014 edition of the race have ranged from 2283 (Uniting Nations Row) to 2446 (Fat Chance Row). CC4 Pacific are still rowing and are currently in this range, having rowed 2308 nautical miles. With 182 nautical miles to go, they will be at the top end of this scale.

 Official Great Pacific Race Results found here.

Uniting Nations: FINISHED
Battleborn: FINISHED
Fat Chance: FINISHED
Pacific Warriors: FINISHED
Boatylicious: FINISHED
CC4 Pacific: ROWING – 178 NM to finish, Rowed 2270 NM

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