Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 – Race Day 52
WEATHER: All crews have a stable 15-20kt out of the East with 2-3m seas. Good solid mile making conditions, but not quite as easy for crews to make some of the finer course adjustment to make landfall.
Tomorrow we anticipate having our next crew finish the Great Pacific Race. Sons of the Pacific are expected to arrive sometime Friday afternoon. We heard from Erden Eruc earlier today and he told us that “When I took over rowing 2.5 hours ago, I saw the silhouette of the eastern headlined of Molokai island, which is now just 15 NM due south.” This was around 3:00 local time in Hawaii. We now know that they are nearing the Molokai Channel. We also asked if they saw land first or if they were able to smell it before they saw it, as sometimes is the case especially after heavy weather such as we have had here in Hawaii. “We saw it, haven’t smelt it yet” replied Erden. “Perhaps too far still. Initially thought it was clouds. It was MAUI! So exciting! Tomorrow afternoon arrival is ON!” We certainly hope so and are planning on it!
Erden has a cumulative total of 928 days at sea in an ocean rowing boat as of today. Before competing in the Great Pacific Race, Erden had previously completed two Atlantic, one Indian and one Pacific ocean crossing as a solo rower. Tomorrow when he finishes the race he will have 929 days at sea in an ocean rowing boat. This incredible amount of time is a tantalizing 8 days shy of the record held by the late Peter Bird, Louis’s father.
Not that far behind Sons of the Pacific are Rick and Todd on Row Aloha. The drag race to the finish seems to have ended and we suspect that the crew on Row Aloha have a plan to arrive in Waikiki on Friday in daylight in time for the fireworks display just across the marina from the Waikiki Yacht Club. We like this plan and certainly look forward to welcoming them to shore no matter what time they arrive.
Just 100 NM behind Row Aloha we have Megan and Vicki on Fight the Kraken. These girls have done such an incredible job and we are all excited for their arrival. Their family, friends and supporters are starting to arrive on the island and we know that the celebrations for the Kraken Girls will be grand! We know that these ladies have changed their rowing pattern to rowing two up more often so that they can make better time toward Hawaii.
From a call made home earlier this week, we also know that their cabin is so hot and humid they are having trouble getting any sound sleep. However, with only a few days before they touch the shores of the islands they will no doubt get a good nights rest after they arrive in Hawaii.
They have also had some additional company:
“We have a big old Frigate bird with a 4 foot wing span hanging around our boat. It dives down for fish and follows us! It’s so nice to have company.”
Additionally, they reported that flying fish are still jumping on board. “One hit Vicki in her chest harness and another hit Megan in the eye” according to the report from their call. But don’t worry – the girls are OK after these fish attacks.
We know that they spotted a few sailboats earlier in the week, and again have reported:
“From our AIS, we were able to pick up a few sailboats and could see a mast light on the horizon! They were part of another race between California and Hawaii. SO AMAZING!!”
Earlier today we welcomed our support crew back to shore after being at sea for 40 consecutive days. The Galen Diana arrived in port here in Waikiki about mid day and we are extremely grateful for all of their support to our crews during their crossing. The Galen Diana and her crew will stay in Waikiki until after all the ocean rowing crews have arrived and will continue to act as our support vessel here in Waikiki.
Meanwhile, back on shore …
Tonight two incredible women sat on the shores of the Waikiki. One is the wife of Erden Eruc and the other is the mother of Louis Bird. They are here to greet Sons of the Pacific. Polly, Louis’ mum, has flown in from the UK and has never been to the Hawaiian Islands. Nancy flew in from Seattle. They sat at a table on the beach with the sun setting to their right and Diamond Head to their left, and every now and then would stare out at the sea as if they expected to see Yves coming around the point at Diamond Head.
These two remarkable women, who had never met before Erden and Louis embarked on this adventure, are matriarchs of the ocean rowing world. They told stories of ocean rowing and caught up on the whereabouts of mutual friends in the community, while checking the yellow brick tracker every thirty minutes or so as their crew gets closer and closer to the finish.
After the sun set, it was time to head home. In the distance, beyond the outline of Diamond Head in the fading light was a red beacon glowing in the distance. This is the red buoy which marks the finish line of the Great Pacific Race. They are both very much looking forward to having their ocean rowers safely back on shore. With a sigh, Polly and Nancy turned to each other and said to each other “One more sleep.”
|PREDICTED ARRIVAL 07-27-16 @ 21:00 PST|
|CREW||VMG RECENT||VMG START|
GREAT PACIFIC RACE STANDINGS as of 4:00 pm PDT
1 Uniting Nations: FINISHED – 39 Days 9 Hours 56 Minutes
2 Team Ocean Hearts: FINISHED – 46 Days 17 Hours 47 Minutes
3 Moana Uli: ROWING – FINISHED – 48 Days 2 Hours 40 Minutes
4 Sons of the Pacific: ROWING – 71 NM to finish, Rowed 2347 NM
5 Row Aloha: ROWING – 93 NM to finish, Rowed 2344 NM
6 Fight the Kraken: ROWING – 190 NM to finish, Rowed 2231 NM
Endurance Limits: RETIRED – Rowed 241 NM
Endurance Limits USA: RETIRED – Rowed 207 NM