THE WOODEN STORK
WEATHER: Winds from the ESE clocking to the E @ 12 to 18 knots. Seas from the ESE @ 6 feet / 9 seconds.
Just as we have seen with all of our other finishers, the closer CC4 Pacific get to the Hawaiian Islands, the faster they go. At the time of writing, there were only 104 NM to go before the finish, and their arrival time is slowly but surely moving forward. It is now estimated that Christophe and Clemente will arrive on the shores of Waikiki sometime on Saturday, August 23, 2014. If that is the case, they will have spent 75 days at sea.
La Cigogne will be the second pairs team to have completed the Great Pacific Race. The team of Fat Chance Row was the fourth team to cross the finish line. Why has it taken CC4 Pacific so much longer to make the crossing than the other pairs team? The main reason is the extreme differences in boat design between the Classic and Open designs which we’ve discussed previously. La Cigogne is built of Marine Plywood and coated in fiberglass. She was built in 2001 based on a design by Phil Morrison. Roosevelt, the boat used by Fat Chance Row was also designed by the master of ocean row boat design (Phil Morrison), was built of carbon fibre with a foam core hull and cabin with an internal frame of carbon and e-glass. This Rannoch R20 design was built in 2013. It is difficult to compare these two boats as La Cigogne a wooden, displacement hull boat compared to a boat that is basically built like a sailing dinghy. This is like comparing a VW Beetle to a Ferrari.
La Cigogne was built from a kit designed for you do-it-yourself boatbuilders and adventurers. According to the Ocean Rowing Society, Phil Morrison explains the thinking behind the boat design:
“Obviously, rowing in the open ocean is entirely different to the requirements in smooth water, and it is has been the aim of the design to help as far as possible with the problems encountered with rowing in varying sea and wind conditions.
“The arrangement with the protected accommodation aft was chosen as it offered a number of advantages. Primarily in bad weather, where it is sensible to heave to, the intention is for both crew members to shelter in the aft accommodation.
“In this situation with drogues deployed from the stern, the boat will lie with the bows high, stern onto the wind and waves, reducing to a minimum the possibility of being rolled over or pitch poled. With the crew in a normal rowing position, however, the windage of the hull and accommodation is balanced by the underwater hull shape and skeg so that with a little judicious fore and aft trimming, the boat may be rowed at an angle to the wind with the minimum of corrective measures from the rudder. With the prevailing winds expected to be from aft of the beam, the aft cabin allows the greatest protection from the wind for the crew member off watch or preparing food, etc.”
With this design, Christophe and Clement have been more protected from the following wind and some of the waves than the newer “blow boat” design of Fat Chance Row, where the larger cabin is to the front. We also know that our French cousins have been able to weather any and all storms that have come their way with the sturdy and solid construction of their wooden boat.
Rowing may have taken them longer, but we are confident that they will have had an incredible adventure. The Yellowbrick tracker will soon be updating every 30 minutes as they row through the 100 nautical mile to go mark. Updates on their arrival will also be made on the Great Pacific Race website.
Official Great Pacific Race Results found here.