Monday, June 13, 2016 – Race Day 9
WEATHER: Point Conception (just above Santa Barbara) is known as the Cape Horn of the Pacific and the Point continues to live up to its name right now. The cell of strong winds funneling down the Continental Shelf will steadily diminish on Wednesday and through Thursday but tomorrow may continue to be a rough ride for many. As the wind drops it will veer back to the NW. The further south and west the crews can row, the sooner conditions will improve.
First up we will give you a recap of events on Endurance Limits USA. As stated earlier, Erin Hammer of Team Endurance Limits sustained an injury to her wrist when their boat Mugatu rolled at 10:30 am on June 11th 2016.
After on-going conversations with our medical consultants and race support, it was determined that the safest option would be to get Erin to a hospital for treatment as soon as possible.
At 09:00 local time this morning, the United States Coastguard deployed an M860 Jayhawk United States Coastguard helicopter to the position of Mugatu. The Great Pacific Race support vessel Galen Diana was in the area standing by.
Both team members were picked up by the helicopter due to protocol, and they arrived at Santa Barbara Airport were Erin was then taken to hospital for treatment. Erin has now been released.
“Looks like you’ve been on an adventure today! Lost your luggage huh?’ said a staff member at Macy’s department store, when Erin and Ryan went shopping for clothes afterwards.
Meanwhile, at 10:00 local time yesterday, the other GPR support vessel Nomad was on site with Endurance Limits the intention of recovering Darren. Arron and Raf. You may recall that Matt Knight had left the boat on 8th June. The plan was to take the ocean rowing boat Ohana under tow by Nomad after transfering the three men from their ocean rowboat to the support yacht.
The rules of the Great Pacific Race state that the purpose of the support vessels is to assist rowers and that our concern is first and foremost to ensure the personal safety of the race participants. The boat and its equipment are strictly secondary to this requirement.
When the support vessel Nomad arrived on scene at 10:00 am local time yesterday, winds were reported of 20-25kts and seas 6-9ft. Captain Thom of the support vessel deemed conditions far too dangerous to take the ocean rowing boat Ohana under tow. With such large waves, it was also deemed too rough to launch and recover the rowers by dinghy.
GPR Safety Officer Lia Ditton, who was in contact with all parties including the United States Coastguard, instructed everyone on the procedure of recovering Darren, Arron and Raf. The instruction was to deploy the liferaft with a long painter attached to the ocean rowing boat, to climb into the liferaft and to pay out the line attaching the raft to the rowing boat as a means of safely putting distance between the two vessels.
At 13:32 we received a report from our Support Yacht Nomad that the remaining team members of Endurance Limits UK were safely on board. “All is well,” said Captain Thom, “all passengers are drinking water, eating cheese and crackers and we have the kettle on. Getting them off the liferaft was not an easy task, but we took it safe and slow and made six or seven attempts before humans and bags were transferred. I think just the transfer over helped Darren, Arron and Raf realize the realities of towing Ohana.”
Darren, Arron and Raf are expected to be dockside in Santa Barbara within this evening. We are very thankful to the crew of Nomad for the excellent job they are doing in supporting our crews out on the Pacific.
Arrangements are underway to recover both ocean rowing boats, Mugatu and Ohana.
Over on the Sons of the Pacific, Louis and Erden had another night on the sea anchor, then plan to “continue our brutal 18 hour rowing schedule tomorrow and row through the night tomorrow.” Louis sounded in good spirits and very upbeat.
Many of our boats are finally seeing some sunny skies. This is a welcome relief to get some clothes dried out and for each boat’s solar panels to fully charge the batteries. These first few weeks on the Pacific have been very hard, but teams are not quite in the clear yet. The warm trade winds set to carry our rowers to Hawaii are further south. Stay tuned!
GREAT PACIFIC RACE STANDINGS as of 4:00 pm PDT today
1 Uniting Nations: ROWING – 1713 NM to finish, Rowed 543 NM
2 Moana Uli: ROWING – 1846 NM to finish, Rowed 382 NM
3 Team Ocean Hearts: ROWING – 1890 NM to finish, Rowed 411 NM
4 Sons of the Pacific: ROWING – 1926 NM to finish, Rowed 337 NM
5 Row Aloha: ROWING – 1931 NM to finish, Rowed 302 NM
6 Fight the Kraken: ROWING – 1941 NM to finish, Rowed 295 NM
Endurance Limits: RETIRED, Rowed 241 NM
Endurance Limits USA: RETIRED, Rowed 207 NM