Storm Warning

Posted on July 2, 2016 in General, Great Pacific Race 2016

Friday, July 1, 2016 – Race Day 27

Yesterday we started talking about the arrivals in Hawaii. It has been great to hear from so many friends and family who are planning on coming to the islands to welcome the teams. If you are planning on visiting Honolulu for an arrival, or two, please contact us at an and let us know which team you will be supporting.

WEATHER: For the next 72 hours, the wind should be 20 knots ENE, strengthening and weakening either side of 20 knots as the high pressure systems shifts about to the NW.

Crews have started to feel the effects of a low pressure system located several hundred miles south of southern Mexico. As Ocean Hearts texted in this morning, “All is OK. Scattered rain and very choppy seas.” Uniting Nations, reported something similar “All good. Tough night as strong winds made hard steering. 72hr to go…”

We mentioned earlier in the week that we had begun monitoring a deep low pressure system 750 miles off the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. Maximum sustained winds are currently 30 mph with gusts of 40 mph and the pressure system is moving toward the WNW at 9 mph. Accuweather.com refer to this system as ‘Tropical Depression II.”

As Tropical Depression II moves WNW away from land into the open waters of the Eastern Pacific, it will move through a zone of warm water. This will likely allow the disturbance to become the first named tropical system of the season thus far in the East Pacific Basin. It would be named Agatha.

If Tropical Depression II continues on its forecast trajectory, crews will begin to see the wave pattern from the NE become displaced by a 3-4 meter or even 4-5 meter wave train from the SE. For most, these will be the largest waves they have ever encountered. For the front three crews, the probable surfing condition may help propel them faster. It is unlikely, however, that the second half of the fleet will be able to completely avoid the effects of the storm altogether.

It is too soon to be certain as to the strength and path of Tropical Depression II, but we will be encouraging all crews to row hard and fast for the next 7 days nonetheless. Ocean rowboats have a proven history of withstanding winds far in excess of those predicted for the center of this disturbance and so while unpleasant and uncomfortable it will hopefully be short lived, as the crews may have to ride out the adverse weather on sea anchor.

Unfortunately there really is nothing pacific about the Central Pacific right now. As the ‘East Pacific Hurricane & Tropical Storm Center’ describes:

Another disturbance is centered several hundred miles south-southwest of Acapulco, Mexico. This feature is poorly organized now and will remain that way through Saturday. However, by late in the weekend or early next week, it will be encountering more favorable conditions for development. There is a good chance that the disturbance will become at least a tropical depression if not a tropical storm. With Tropical Depression II likely to strengthen and become Agatha, this disturbance would then become Blas if it strengthens to a tropical storm.

You can rest assured that we will continue to keep a very close eye on any developing weather systems.

Further storm bulletins will follow.

GREAT PACIFIC RACE STANDINGS as of 4:00 pm PDT today
1 Uniting Nations: ROWING – 757 NM to finish, Rowed 1527 NM
2 Team Ocean Hearts: ROWING – 945 NM to finish, Rowed 1442 NM
3 Moana Uli: ROWING – 1071 NM to finish, Rowed 1240 NM
4 Row Aloha: ROWING – 1257 NM to finish, Rowed 1119 NM
5 Sons of the Pacific: ROWING – 1306 NM to finish, Rowed 1055 NM
6 Fight the Kraken: ROWING – 1328 NM to finish, Rowed 1035 NM
Endurance Limits: RETIRED – Rowed 241 NM
Endurance Limits USA: RETIRED – Rowed 207 NM