Saturday, June 9th, 2018 – Race Day 3
WEATHER: The 24 hours weather forecast is slightly different for our teams of 4 vs our team of three and two pairs. Our fours will see winds from 25-29 kts from the North / North West with swells between 9-11 feet at about 7 seconds. Our remaining teams will see winds of 27-31 kts also from the North /North West with swells at 10-12 feet at about 7 seconds. Wind gusts will be at least 10 kts faster than the sustained wind speeds.
It’s day three already and our crews are being tested by the mighty Pacific. At the start of every Great Pacific Race we see how the Pacific battles to keep rowers close to land, pushing them to see what they are willing to put themselves through to get to the tropical islands of Hawaii. This year’s crews have been fantastic. So far they have dealt with everything that the mighty Pacific has thrown at them, and she certainly isn’t done throwing things at them yet. Tomorrow our crews will see the Pacific step it up just a notch before calming down fractionally on Monday and into the early part of next week. Although the winds will start to decrease over that period, it will take a while for the sea state to settle down.
For Michael Matson and Brian Krauskopf on Team Attack Poverty, the Pacific has proven to be quite a different experience than from their crossing of the Atlantic. First thing this morning Michael posted that it was “cold and wet”. He also mentioned that “Mike Flapson, our mascot who stayed with us for the first few days flew off this AM. Hopeful he comes back.” We assume this is a bird – perhaps a storm petrel that was catching a ride for a bit with our Texans. Brian also reported earlier today “strong waves and winds are unrelenting. Too cold and hard to do anything but row or sleep. No cooking yet … we are living off Oreos and Gatorade.” We might just call that the breakfast of champions! Clearly they are thinking a lot about food today as Michael reported as the day went on that he was “dreaming of a Chuy’s Big as yo face steak burrito smother[ed] in queso … and a dry pair of socks.” We are assuming the socks are to wear and not to eat, but ocean rowing can bring out some strange habits.
There are many milestones that will need to be achieved by each crew on their way across the Pacific. We are thrilled to see that Team Attack Poverty were the first crew to hit the 100 nm rowed mark! Team Ripple Effect is very close behind with 95 nm rowed. Well done! However, it’s the miles rowed towards Hawaii (and not in any other direction) which really count.
Many of our boats are remaining on para-anchor to ride out this weather system as it moves through. If you have been watching the tracker, you may notice that some boats have traveled far less than others. At this point in the race, that’s OK. It’s still early days. We know from our Support Yacht check-ins that Team Ripple Effect, Pacific Terrific and Cockleshell Endeavour are all currently on para-anchor and will remain so throughout the night. Even with the para-anchor deployed, the three girls on Pacific Terrific stated they felt they were “being thrown around like three scrambled eggs. All is OK.”
With these weather conditions and as teams are still getting their sea legs, there have been some reports of sea sickness, but crews are starting to feel better despite the intensification in conditions. This is a good sign and one that means they are getting used to life at sea. A new irritation, however, has cropped up over on Uniting Nations Row – the sore bum. At this point, just sore so we will save the bum story for a later edition. Just be prepared – it’s not pretty (but does have a happy ending.) The crew on Uniting Nations Row are attempting a South West course as will each of our teams when they begin rowing again.
Note to our readers: Since it is week one, we will have written reports over this first weekend. Going forward, we anticipate having a video “weekend update” for you. As of this writing, and due to the weather conditions our crews are currently facing, we have not yet received videos from them. This is expected – they have a bit on at the moment with the weather being as it is and are still getting settled in. One also has to point the transmitting unit toward the satellite in order to transmit which is a bit tricky when being thrown around in the currently rather strong conditions. Steve “Sparky” Sparkes, our blind rower, explains the process in this short video made before they left Monterey. Enjoy!
GREAT PACIFIC RACE STANDINGS as of 19:00 (7 pm) PDT
1 Team Ripple Effect/ Ripple Effect: ROWING – 2013 NM to finish, Rowed 95 NM
2 Uniting Nations Row/ Isabel: ROWING – 2014 NM to finish, Rowed 87 NM
3 Team Attack Poverty/ Anne: ROWING – 2022 NM to finish, Rowed 100 NM
4 Pacific Terrific/ Danielle: ROWING – 2053 NM to finish, Rowed 88 NM
5 Cockleshell Endeavour Pacific/ Bojangles: ROWING – 2059 NM to finish, Rowed 72 NM