The 2018 Edition of the Great Pacific Race is underway!
Wednesday, June 6th was a busy and exciting day for our rowers here in Monterey. The day began with the usual 10:00 Race Briefing with Race Director Chris Martin, Safety Officer Erden Eruç the entire support team and crews of the support vessels. After a five day delay due to weather, the decision that the race would start that evening at 18:00 was confirmed. The sense of excitement flowing around the room was something which everyone could feel.
Crews quickly left the meeting to get to their boats or to attend to last minute tasks and chores. The final gathering and roll-call would be in front of the spiritual home of Pacific Ocean Rowing (The Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club) at 16:00 so time was short. As the afternoon approached, crews started having their final meals on shore. These meals were generally food types that the crews couldn’t take with them. For some, like Eleanor of Pacific Terrific, this meant a big bowl of Cap’n Crunch Crunch Berry cereal.
She then ordered some pizzas for her team, but the clock was ticking. We overheard her pleading with the Round Table delivery team that she would be leaving to row an ocean so could they please deliver within the next 45 minutes. Clearly there was confusion on the other end of the phone at this request as she said again “…but I’m rowing to Hawaii this afternoon!” All ended well and a boat-side delivery was made.
At the set hour, the five teams participating in the Great Pacific Race left their slips in Monterey Harbour and gathered on the public dock. Friends, family and fans lined the railing of the wharf above the boats offering final messages of support and advice. Crews took time between final media interviews to wish each other well before stepping off land and onto their rowing boats, their homes until they reach Hawaii.
Each crew was presented to the assembled crowd as they pushed off the dock and headed across the harbor toward the start line of the race. Team Attack Poverty was first to depart and are the only all-American team. They turned up their radio with patriotic music blaring from their speakers much to the delight of the assembled crowd. Cockleshell Endeavour was next, followed by the first female trio to attempt this row – Pacific Terrific. Finally were our two teams of four – Team Ripple Effect and Uniting Nations Row.
As teams headed out of the harbor, friends, family, supporters and media headed to numerous sailing yachts to witness the actual start of the race and wave farewell to the crews. Having the start in the early evening took into consideration the local conditions of the winds which routinely decrease in the late afternoon as the land cools. At 18:00 the cannon was fired and teams took off into the Pacific. Team Ripple Effect took advantage of their three available rowing positions on their four person boat and took the early lead pushing hard.
As the sun began to set, most of the sailing yachts turned back to shore as the rowers continued further and further out into Monterey Bay toward Point Pinos. Team Ripple Effect was the first boat to make it around Point Pinos which marks the edge of Monterey Bay. Making it past Point Pinos is the first goal of all crews. The Pacific Ocean awaits.
Not all boats headed for home. The support yachts Present Moment and Galen Diana continued on with the crews, keeping an ever watchful eye on all crews overnight.
We are aware that the tracker isn’t currently working on the phone Apps but our development team are aiming to solve this in the next couple of days.