Wednesday, June 24, 2016 – Race Day 20
WEATHER: The wind should be consistent through the weekend, with 10-15 knot trade winds flowing ENE for most teams. We hope our rowers enjoy the break, before the high pressure system presses up against the U.S West Coast again on Monday and funnels stronger winds from the NE for several days.
Today is Day 20 of the race and Uniting Nations has officially crossed the halfway mark! Based on the race distance of 2,400 NM, in the last 24 hours, Uniting Nations has gone from 1206 NM to 1156 NM to the finish. They are more than halfway there! Congratulations to our team of Cyril Derreumaux, Fiann Paul, Carlo Facchino and Thiago Silva.
In the 2014 edition of the race, it was on day 24 that the team of Uniting Nations, consisting of Craig Hackett, Caspar Zafer, Andre Kiers and Junho Choi crossed this same imaginary line. If you have a prediction of when you think Uniting Nations will finish this race, and you are closest to getting it right, we will send you a Great Pacific Race hat! Post your guess in the comments below.
This is a big milestone for team Uniting Nations. Once teams cross this invisible line, they are closer to the the finish line than the start – Hawaii is closer than the California Coast. This makes the halfway point rather important from a psychological perspective.
We asked Race Director Chris Martin if he had any special memories of when he crossed the halfway-point when he and rowing partner Mick Dawson rowed the North Pacific in 2009. Martin recalled that it was on day 87 of their 189-day journey when they were equal distance between Choshi, Japan and San Francisco, CA. “I remember someone sending us an email letting us know that we had made it past this milestone, but we didn’t really mark it especially onboard. Far more conspicuous were the celebrations as we passed each degree of longitude.”
We are attempting to discover what milestones teams are planning to celebrate, if anything, such as the crossing of that halfway point. Stay tuned in the coming days for these updates.
The ladies on Team Ocean Hearts continue to be on the top of the leader board for their number of NM rowed in a 24 hour period, logging in another impressive day of 56 NM. They made a small gain on the first place boat Uniting Nations, closing in by 6 NM and decreasing the distance between them to 210 NM. But Team Ocean Hearts has increased the distance between them and Moana Uli Rowing by 17NM. They are now 73 NM ahead of the third place boat.
However there is a reason why Team Ocean Hearts may have been making miles on Moana Uli Rowing. Team member Greg Vlasek has been fighting an infection hampered by extreme fatigue, which forced him to take time off the oars. Tim Spiteri and Brian Conville have been rowing as a pair, rather than as a trio. We received a report yesterday from the boat that they are “Happy to say Greg has recovered and is making a gradual return to the oars.”
GREAT PACIFIC RACE STANDINGS as of 4:00 pm PDT today
1 Uniting Nations: ROWING – 1156 NM to finish, Rowed 1116 NM
2 Team Ocean Hearts: ROWING – 1366 NM to finish, Rowed 1012 NM
3 Moana Uli: ROWING – 1439 NM to finish, Rowed 860 NM
4 Row Aloha: ROWING – 1573 NM to finish, Rowed 793 NM
5 Sons of the Pacific: ROWING – 1604 NM to finish, Rowed 747 NM
6 Fight the Kraken: ROWING – 1640 NM to finish, Rowed 747 NM
Endurance Limits: RETIRED – Rowed 241 NM
Endurance Limits USA: RETIRED – Rowed 207 NM