Uniting Nations Take Line Honors in the 2016 Edition of the Great Pacific Race

Posted on July 14, 2016 in Great Pacific Race 2016, Sons of the Pacific, Uniting Nations

Thursday, July 14th, 2016 – Race Day 40

WEATHER: As the remains of Tropical Storm Celia pass over the fleet, crews can expect the wind to back from 15-20 knots ESE to 20 knots NE and then finally 25-30 knots NNE as the system rolls through. Being at a higher latitude, Fight the Kraken and Sons of the Pacific may see SSE and SSW winds respectively, which may force them onto sea anchor for a short period of time. However, this possibility is based on the 96 hour forecast and for now it is too early to tell. All crews may experience 12-15 foot seas. 

STORM WATCH: At 800 PM PST, the center of Tropical Storm Celia was located near 21.8 N, 139.1 W. Celia is expected to cross the 140W longitudinal line into the Central Pacific basin tomorrow morning. Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours and it is likely that Celia will become a post-tropical cyclone on Friday and a remnant low by Saturday. The outlook calls consistently for 25-30 knots at 22.4 N, 145.7W on Saturday, 22.8N 148W on Sunday and 23.8N 152.6W on Monday. 

Decreasing sea surface temperatures should induce gradual weakening of Hurricane Darby within 36 hours. Weak wind shear conditions are expected to prevent a more typical rapid weakening trend from occurring. This is similar to the slower-than-normal weakening trend noted with Tropical Storm Celia during the past couple of days while that cyclone has been moving through a similar environment. Little change in strength is expected on Friday. Gradual weakening is forecast to begin late Friday night or on Saturday.


After more than a month at sea in their rowing boat Danielle, Skipper Cyril Derreumaux (France) with crew members Fiann Paul (Iceland), Carlo Facchino (USA) and Thiago Silva (Brazil) calling themselves Team Uniting Nations are the first team to finish the Great Pacific Race.  They crossed the finish line at 00:56 local time and arrived at the Waikiki Yacht Club at 02:20 on Thursday morning, July 14th, 2016.  The direct distance between Monterey, California to Waikiki, Hawaii is 2,400 statutory miles, however Team Uniting Nations rowed 2,629.5 statutory miles during the race as weather, currents and navigation make it nearly impossible to take an exact straight route.  The team have faced winds up to 35 knots and waves larger than 20 feet during their crossing from Monterey, California to Waikiki, Hawaii.

As the first team to step onto land and end their epic journey they have also rowed themselves into the World Record books.  The previous Guinness World Record record which is measured from shore to shore was set in 2014 by another team of four men in the same boat with the same team name of Uniting Nations. Their shore to shore time was 43 days 7 hours 39 minutes.  The current Team Uniting Nations have broken this record by 3 days 19 hours and 19 minutes with a calculated shore to shore time of 39 days 12 hours 20 minutes.  Additionally, crew member Fiann Paul will receive a special award as he will be the first person to hold ocean rowing speed records for Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans all at the same time.

Team Uniting Nations crew members are:

Cyril Derreumaux (39) – a business development manager in the wine industry. Cyril was born in France but now lives in Sausalito, California. An experienced paddler, Cyril has raced in the Hawaiian paddling regatta, the Moloka’i Hoe multiple times.

Fiann Paul (35) is an artist and adventurer from Iceland. Fiann already holds 3 Guinness World Records for ocean rowing, including the speed records for crossing the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. This new record for the Pacific sees him become the first person ever to hold simultaneous ocean rowing speed records across all three oceans.

Thiago Silva (29) is a businessman from Brazil. Thiago is a great videographer and we can’t wait to see the footage he has shot of the team’s journey. Thiago is also an experienced paddler and has completed the Moloka’i Hoe multiple times.

Carlo Facchino (41) is an event organizer from San Jose, California. Carlo is no stranger to rowing and regularly rows out of Santa Cruz, just a few short miles from the start line of the Great Pacific Race.

“From the moment they arrived in Monterey, Team Uniting Nations showed that they had only one thing on their mind – breaking the World Record. They have demonstrated extreme strength, resilience and team spirit to remain at the front of the fleet from the first oar stroke of the race” said Chris Martin, Race Director for the Great Pacific Race. “It is beyond exciting to see their hard work and dedication pay off as they close in on their goal to break the World Record by more than three days”

The first time teams stepped onto land was at the Waikiki Yacht Club. The board and members of the Waikiki Yacht Club offered a warm welcome to the 2016 participants of the Great Pacific Race: “Their trans-Pacific Ocean rowing accomplishment is a notable feat,” said Waikiki Yacht Club Commodore Doug Taylor. “Our club was founded in 1944, after World War II, to re-establish yacht racing in Honolulu and to organize a club to support it. We now support a wide variety of sailing and paddling events and training for youth and adults. We are honored to be able to extend our aloha to the rowers in the Great Pacific Race.”

News spread quickly across the five boats still rowing across the Pacific of Uniting Nations epic finish and one of the first questions asked by the victorious team was “how are the other teams?”  Words of congratulation flowed in from the crews as well as from supporters around the world.  The Uniting Nations crew was met on the dock in the wee hours of the morning by family and friends who had arrived from as far away as France.

When asked about their journey, fresh off the boat, Cyril  said “I’m overwhelmed and I think a need a few weeks, a few months to figure it out. I’m just so happy. This is what life is all about, moments like this. But you’ve got to push your limits and go all the way, further than you think.”

Carlo said “There were a lot of strokes out there where things weren’t right and there were a lot of strokes where things were awesome. In the end it’s how you combine it all together and what you can accomplish as a team. The team is ultimately greater than the individual…It’s a pretty amazing accomplishment.”

Today crews are resting in actual beds for the first time in over a month.  Tomorrow they will go through their final scrutineering process with the race organization. Be sure to watch our Facebook page for live feeds as we continue to celebrate the arrival of Uniting Nations.

Our focus today has been on giving Uniting Nations their moment, but we would also like to say a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Erden Eruc on Sons of the Pacific!

Fiann Paul wrote a Haiku during his crossing, which he has permitted us to share with you:

Montery Bay
Magnanimous Ocean
Stars of July
Aloha Hawaii!

PREDICTED ARRIVAL 07-14-16 @ 18:00 PST
UN 14-Jul 14-Jul
OH 19-Jul 22-Jul
MU 21-Jul 23-Jul
ALOHA 28-Jul 31-Jul
SOTP 26-Jul 01-Aug
FTK 28-Jul 03-Aug


1 Uniting Nations: ROWING – FINISHED 39 Days 9 Hours 56 Minutes
2 Team Ocean Hearts: ROWING – 327 NM to finish, Rowed 2098 NM
3 Moana Uli: ROWING – 394 NM to finish, Rowed 1923 NM
4 Row Aloha: ROWING – 615 NM to finish, Rowed 1773 NM
5 Sons of the Pacific: ROWING – 635 NM to finish, Rowed 1744 NM
6 Fight the Kraken: ROWING – 685 NM to finish, Rowed 1689 NM
Endurance Limits: RETIRED – Rowed 241 NM
Endurance Limits USA: RETIRED – Rowed 207 NM