Road Block at 150W

Posted on July 21, 2016 in General, Great Pacific Race 2016

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 – Race Day 46

WEATHER: As Darby approaches, the wind will strengthen for every team. The forecast calls for 20-25 knots across the board. 

STORM WATCH: As of the 5pm Hawaiian Standard Time storm bulletin from the Central Pacific Hurricane Centre, the forecast for Darby has the tropical storm shift slightly further westward. Darby’s forward motion is expected to slow before turning toward the NW and N on Saturday and Sunday. It’s the timing of the anticipated turn that introduces a greater than normal amount of uncertainty, especially with Darby slowing just east of the Big Island. The intensity forecast continues to be complicated by competing environmental factors. Darby will be moving over slightly warmer water the next couple of days, but this is expected to be counteracted by moderate shear. The official forecast lies between two different weather models – the stronger weather model which makes Darby a hurricane again, and the weaker model that continues to indicate a slow but steady weakening.

Today is Race Day 45 and within the next 24 hours we will have our second arrival which will be Team Ocean Hearts.

Back in 2014, during the first edition of the Great Pacific Race, we had the incredibly athletic and powerhouse team of Sami Inkinen and Meredith Loring on Fat Chance Row.  Liz Dycus and Pat Hines are rowing on the same boat, Roosevelt, used by Fat Chance Row.  These two incredible women, our oldest combined age rowers not only in this edition but ever for this route, are going to be only a day behind the record set in 2014 of 45 days, 3 hours and 43 minutes.  What these ladies have accomplished is absolutely incredible.

As we mentioned yesterday, our three boats at the eastern end of our our fleet have been asked to STOP at a longitude of 150 deg. W.  The latest track forecast for Darby has the storm moving a little more to the left, which is more toward the Hawaiian Islands and fortunately a little more away from our easterly rowers.  This does mean that Moana Uli Rowing will need to continue to row hard, strong and fast to get ashore before Darby passes.  All signs are pointing to exactly this happening. We are monitoring the situation closely nonetheless.

Our easterly rowing boats are not alone out there at 150 deg W.  Our support yacht Galen Diana is also sailing around on the eastern side of Darby.  As the rowing boats get closer together, our support yacht has been able to make a few more visits to them, and in quicker succession.  Today we have reports from both Fight the Kraken and Row Aloha.  We will start with Fight the Kraken.

“When we caught up with Megan and Vicki it was a beautiful morning with blue skies and vibrant blue waters. Quite a contrast since our last meeting a few days back while we were caught in the middle of Celia’s rage.

My first question was ‘How do you like the weather?’ Megan replied ‘A heck of a lot better than a couple of days ago’. ‘By the way’ said Megan, ‘thank you for checking in on us during the storm. You guys are awesome. My dad wants to meet you and thank you for being out there with us.’

Vicki was on the oars when we sailed up and she was waving at us with excitement to see us. Megan poked her head out for a moment but was resting and fully taking advantage to talk to us on the VHF radio. She sounded good, confident and motivated.

They plan to arrive at Diamond Head Buoy within ten days and Megan told us that today was most exciting because their countdown to Waikiki would be in single digits soon.”

Our second report from the Galen Diana today was in regard to their visit with Row Aloha.  They reported:

“We established VHF radio contact with Todd and Rick. Todd said they had been on sea anchor since 1400 the day before and were anxious to get rowing.  As instructed, they are waiting on the weather window to open up from Hurricane Darby and the green light from Race Control to get off sea anchor and go back on the oars.

Todd said ‘We have been doing well, could be better though once we can row again’. ‘So far everything has been not too bad. The worst part of this is having to hold up in the cabin while on sea anchor where it is hot and humid’.

They reported that they had several Mahi Mahi swimming around their boat this morning so I suggested they toss out a line with a “plug” so they did.  Moments later across the radio we heard ‘hey… we took your advice and sure enough we had a fish on in seconds!’  Unfortunately, that one would get away but they continued to fish while on sea anchor to pass time and might be enjoying some fresh sashimi soon.

We left them to fish and wait as we head south to connect next with Sons of the Pacific later today.”

We look forward to that report tomorrow.

Predicted Arrival Note:  As we mentioned yesterday, our three easterly teams have been asked to stop and not pass the Longitude of 150 deg. W.  Therefore, their VMG Recent calculations are a bit out of whack.  They will be rowing again soon at which time we will again update the predicted arrival chart with the window of arrival dates.

PREDICTED ARRIVAL 07-20-16 @ 20:00 PST
UN Finished Finished
OH 21-Jul 21-Jul
MU 23-Jul 22-Jul
SOTP On Sea Anchor 02-Aug
ALOHA On Sea Anchor 02-Aug
FTK On Sea Anchor 04-Aug


1 Uniting Nations: ROWING – FINISHED 39 Days 9 Hours 56 Minutes
2 Team Ocean Hearts: ROWING –45 NM to finish, Rowed 2402 NM
3 Moana Uli: ROWING – 128 NM to finish, Rowed 2194 NM
4 Sons of the Pacific: ROWING – 444 NM to finish, Rowed 1963 NM
5 Row Aloha: ROWING – 450 NM to finish, Rowed 1977 NM
6 Fight the Kraken: ROWING – 514 NM to finish, Rowed 1902 NM
Endurance Limits: RETIRED – Rowed 241 NM
Endurance Limits USA: RETIRED – Rowed 207 NM