Catching up with UN

Posted on July 7, 2016 in General, Great Pacific Race 2016

Thursday, July 7th, 2016 – Race Day 33

WEATHER: For the next 48 hours, crews will see 15-20 knots of wind from the NE, clocking to ESE as Blas gets nearer. Tonight the S/SSW wave train will be replaced by ESE waves arriving ahead of Blas. Rowers should expect 2-3 meter; 3-4 meter seas worst case over the weekend as Blas passes east.

STORM WATCH: Hurricane Blas weakened from a category 3 to a category 2 storm this evening. Blas is currently centered at 17 N, 129 W about 1,280 miles WSW of the southern tip of Baja California. The current track is 295 degrees at 8 knots, so as well as downgrading the system has also slowed by 4 knots.

As Blas continues to move over cooler ocean waters,  the hurricane is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm on Saturday and ultimately become a remnant low within 3 days, or earlier. The expected outlook on Tuesday (not Monday now as the system is stalling) calls for 25-35 knots max at 22N, 142W. Erring on the side of caution, Row Aloha, Sons of the Pacific and Fight the Kraken have been advised to maintain their fastest course W rather than SW directly towards Hawaii, in order to remain on the NE quadrant of the cyclone. All weather models show the storm gradually turning NW. As the weakening trend accelerates, Blas  is expected to turn westward in the flow of the trades. The long-range outlook predicts 20-30 knots max at 21.7N, 147W on Wednesday. 

Tropical Depression 4-E is currently located 740 miles south of the southern tip of Baja California, has sustained winds of 30 knots but is only moving at 1.7 knots. This is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm by Saturday. This feature also has a good chance to become a hurricane later this weekend or early next week.

Our lead boat of Uniting Nations is on a mission, and they seem quite determined to achieve their goal.  They want to set the new world record and they are on target to do just that.  Another record that may be achieved during this crossing is that crew member Fiann Paul of Iceland could be the first person to hold ocean speed records for the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans all at the same time.  This would be an incredible achievement for Fiann as well as for the team.

Our support yacht Galen Diana caught up with the crew on board Uniting Nations as the sun was setting yesterday.  Here is the report we received from them:

“We met up with team Uniting Nations just as the sun was setting yesterday, Wednesday, July 6. The weather was clear with clouds on all horizons, wind at 18kts, seas 3-5’ choppy but no white caps. Warm, comfortable climate with air temp at 78 degrees Fahrenheit.  The sunset was beautiful and spirits were high.”

There were several topics that were discussed with the crew on board Uniting Nations.  The overall consensus was that all crewmembers are currently in good health and that although they have had some ups and downs due to fatigue, overall everything is good.  Cyril Derreumaux explained their daily routine:

“We row around the clock two at a time for 1.5 hours per shift.  Once off oars, crew have 10 mins to clear the deck, then ten minutes to eat, take care of any personal business then get 1 hour sleep before a ten minute wake up call for their next watch. Each pair row eight shifts per day and plan their main three meals (breakfast, lunch,dinner), which they eat cold followed by health bars and various snacks in between shifts.”

This is a very aggressive schedule, but it has been working for them.  They are well on target to beat the current world record of 43 days, 17 hours and 30 minutes set by Uniting Nations in 2014.

Rod Mayer, skipper of the Galen Diana, asked Cyril when he thought their ETA might be at the Diamond Head buoy and finish line of the race.  Cyril’s response was:

“We have a mind set of July 13th or 14th before 15:00 on the 14th to be in in less than 40 days.”
When asked what was keeping each of the crew members motivated to reach this goal, here is what they told us:
Carlo- “…to get there early before 40 days and for the pure fun and love for the sport of rowing”
Thiago- “…focused on the team achieving the Guinness book world record”
Cyril- “…to prove to his two young boys that anything is possible”

All in all the entire team shares one true motivating factor at this stage which is to arrive in Hawaii in under 40 days and set a new world record.  We wish them luck and anticipate seeing them in about a week’s time.  For all of our estimated arrivals, please see the chart below.  Remember that arrivals are moving target and may change daily.

PREDICTED ARRIVAL 07-07-16 @ 21:00 PST
UN 14-Jul 15-Jul 8.2
OH 18-Jul 20-Jul 10.9
MU 18-Jul 25-Jul 13.4
ALOHA 24-Jul 02-Aug 16.9
SOTP 24-Jul 08-Aug 18.9
FTK 28-Jul 09-Aug 19.8


There have been no changes on the leaderboard today. Everyone is staying about the same distance apart, except for those ladies on Team Ocean Hearts who are still chipping away at the distance between them and our leaders!  They are now only 170 NM behind Uniting Nations.

Liz Dycus and Pat Hines are also on track to possibly set a few records as well.  Our Team Ocean Hearts crew, who have both celebrated birthdays during this crossing, will be the oldest female pair to cross any ocean (combined age) and Pat is the oldest female ever to row an ocean.  The current record for the fastest Open Class Pair was set by Sami and Meredith on Fat Chance during the 2014 edition of the Great Pacific Race. Sami and Meredith had a finish time of 45 days, 3 hours and 43 minutes.  Liz and Pat will need to beat this time in order to set a new record.  If they don’t succeed in breaking the 45 day record, then they will still be recognized as the fastest all female open class pair.  Unfortunately they won’t get recognized for both achievements, as the Fastest Open Class trumps Fastest All Female Open Class – I’m sure the ladies would be just fine with that!

MEANWHILE, Back on shore ….
Tomorrow, July 8th, at approximately 10:00 am Eastern Time, you can tune in to listen to a LIVE interview with Vicki Otmani and Megan Biging of Fight The Kraken. Yes, they will be calling in from the middle of the Pacific Ocean while they continue to compete in the Great Pacific Race. Here is the information on how to tune in:

Local listeners tune in to 93.3 WMMR Philadelphia or iHeartRadio
Download the free app: 93.3 WMMR PhiladelphiaWEST COAST and anyone can register for Live Streaming. Go to
Go to top tab bar “Connect”
Click “Streaming and Registration”
You will receive a ‘Verification link” in your email. Check your spam.
Go to homepage and You are ready! See “Listen Live” at far right.
Anyone who registers can go to top tab bar
“On Demand”, Click “Podcasts”
The interview will be “alive” for several weeks.

1 Uniting Nations: ROWING – 401 NM to finish, Rowed 1886 NM
2 Team Ocean Hearts: ROWING – 571 NM to finish, Rowed 1822 NM
3 Moana Uli: ROWING – 744 NM to finish, Rowed 1570 NM
4 Row Aloha: ROWING – 932 NM to finish, Rowed 1453 NM
5 Sons of the Pacific: ROWING – 1039 NM to finish, Rowed 1329 NM
6 Fight the Kraken: ROWING – 1051 NM to finish, Rowed 1319 NM
Endurance Limits: RETIRED – Rowed 241 NM
Endurance Limits USA: RETIRED – Rowed 207 NM