Thursday, June 7th, 2018 – Race Day 1
Current wind conditions are about 16-20 knots between the West and North West. The sea state has been 4-6 feet at intervals increasing from every 8 seconds to about every 6 seconds depending on the crew’s position in the fleet.
It’s Day One of the Great Pacific Race and we are off to a tremendous start. All has been rather calm and placid at Race Headquarters today now that the crews are at sea. Family and friends have gone home and perhaps the boat park should be renamed the trailer park.
Crews are required to check in with the race office every 12 hours with a standard preset message. All boats have done this today and we have not heard much else from them. This is not surprising as it takes time to adjust to life at sea and they will be working on getting into the rhythm of row, sleep, eat, repeat over the next couple of days.
Each of our teams has the capability to send messages and short videos back to the race office, but we’re expecting that it will likely be after the weekend before we receive anything, so be patient – it will happen!
We did receive a report from our lead boat Team Ripple Effect. Skipper Anna Kirkin called in to let us know that they were experiencing some strong onshore breezes during the afternoon. She expressed some concern as she perceived it was becoming more difficult for them to make the progress west that they were hoping for. In reality, we in the Race Office have been very impressed with the results of their first day and night at sea (and not just because they are leading the fleet).
During the brief conversation, Race Director Chris Martin spoke with the crew and identified the likely “issue”. Having set off with three rowers on the oars (and one resting) the crew had changed their schedule to two rowing and two sleeping – hence their perceived “slower” progress. Our crews have a lot on in these first days so we know to give our crews a bit of slack with what may seem like a “DUH” moment. There is a bit of a learning curve as they adjust to their new life at sea on the mighty Pacific.
We also received reports of a few crews being sea sick. Again, this is expected as they develop their sea legs. Overall, spirits on Ripple Effect are good and our ladies on board were chatty and happy that the pressure of preparations on land have gone albeit replaced with the pressures of being at sea.
Mike Matson and Brian Krauskopf of Team Attack Poverty are rowing their second ocean so they are a little more familiar with what to expect. We have heard a bit more from them than other crews about how things are going during these first 24 hours. They stated that their boat Anne felt heavy in the headwind and that in the early hours after the start they were “able to get 1.5nm in an h[our] toward waypoint. Fighting to stay warm. Brian rowed continuously from start to midnight (beast mode). We had a playful otter splash our boat around 1am.”
We heard again from them around 1300 with “Sooooo cold” and later at 2200 with a note stating that the winds were picking up. They did report that “Spirits are high – podcasts on the Braven speakers, rowing away full steam ahead.” They are making great progress and we hope they are keeping warm.
Regarding the race standings below, crews are not always rowing directly toward the finish. That is why you will see, for example, that both Team Attack Poverty and Pacific Terrific have both rowed 31 miles, but Team Attack Poverty is fractionally “closer” to the finish. This is just based on their direction of travel…for now.
GREAT PACIFIC RACE STANDINGS as of 19:00 (7 pm) PDT
1 Team Ripple Effect: ROWING – 2055 NM to finish, Rowed 33 NM
2 Uniting Nations Row: ROWING – 2059 NM to finish, Rowed 30 NM
3 Team Attack Poverty: ROWING – 2063 NM to finish, Rowed 31 NM
4 Pacific Terrific: ROWING – 2067 NM to finish, Rowed 31 NM
5 Cockleshell Endeavour Pacific: ROWING – 2069 NM to finish, Rowed 26 NM