Race Day 5 – June 11th

Posted on June 12, 2018 in Attack Poverty, Cockleshell Endeavour, General, Great Pacific Race 2018, Pacific Terrific

Monday, June 11th, 2018 – Race Day 5

Weather:  We are starting to see some relief from the weather for our rowers.  Over the next 24 hours, our front runners of Uniting Nations Row and Team Ripple Effect will have the winds drop off to between 20-22 kts from the North West with 10-11 ft. swells.  For Cockleshell Endeavour and Pacific Terrific, winds will be a bit stronger at 20-24 knots also from the North West with a similar sea state.

First up today is an update on Mike and Brian from Team Attack Poverty.  They arrived safely to shore today in Southern California aboard the Hyundai Bangkok.  During his time in sick bay on board, Mike had time to recover under the watchful eye of on-board medics.  As soon as they arrived on shore, both Mike and Brian received further medical review by local doctors.  Both have been released and Brian is already working on heading back to Houston while Mike spends some time with his wife and father in Southern California.

Mike sent this message:

“We want to send a special thank you to everyone for their love an prayers through a difficult time.  I’m happy to report I have cleared my health check with the local doctor in LA and all signs of hypothermia have disappeared.  The doctors said we were very lucky to have made the call when we did given my vitals at rescue.  THANK YOU for all the support.”

Their spirits were high when they were released and their thoughts turned to their third crew member Anne.  Wheels are in motion to collect her and bring her to shore.  Mike and Brian also asked about the other crews and even took some time to joke with them.  When the girls from Pacific Terrific checked in his message to them was “Don’t fall out of the boat” to which the girls replied “Please send our best. Glad all OK. Boat exiting not on our agenda.  Hence day 4 on para-anchor … it’s like a really crap version of Big Brother.”  We believe the girls are referring to their tight quarters on board.  They also mentioned this to the support yacht earlier today when they checked in telling the skipper they were suffering from a bit of cabin fever and were anxious to get back to the oars.

We are glad to know that the girls have a plan.  Their plan is one more night on the para-anchor to ride out the rest of the weather.  Pacific Terrific and Cockleshell Endeavour are still in the strongest of the weather we are currently seeing and that will last through the evening but will start to ease as the night turns to day.  Therefore, the girls have decided that at 05:30 tomorrow they will break free from the cabin, pull in the para-anchor and get rowing!  This is music to our ears.

Most of our crews are attempting a southwest course – attempting being the key word.  We know it is rough out there but this is not uncommon for the Pacific ocean.  Crews in all previous editions of the Great Pacific Race have struggled to get off the continental shelf and make progress to the west until they are at the Latitude of San Diego.  After that the wind tends to come behind them a little more and progress to Hawaii becomes a little easier.

Progress at sea in these conditions is not necessarily being impeded as much as we might expect.  Team Ripple Effect and Uniting Nations Row had managed to deploy their para-anchors into a southwards moving current and so were still moving at 0.9kt (as of the 19:00 tracker update) and over the last 24 hours they have ticked off an impressive 28 and 24 nautical miles respectively.  Not bad at all Isabel and the crew of Uniting Nations Row have also managed to row themselves in to first place at the moment as both they and Ripple Effect are able to move more in the “correct” direction toward Hawaii.  Our two teams of four are basically neck and neck at this point and only time will tell who will take the overall lead in the coming days.

Over the weekend we received a report from the boys on Uniting Nations Row that they felt as though they “we’re sardines in this little can.”  We are curious if all four of them were in one cabin at that moment, and we are glad to see they opened the can to get on the oars at least for a time today.

We are thrilled that all of our teams, even Bojangles who hit the mark right at the 19:00 tracker update, have reached the 100 nautical miles rowed mark. Well done teams!

Many of you may know that our Race Director Chris Martin has rowed the North Pacific before with Mick Dawson who is rowing again in the same boat Bojangles as part of team Cockleshell Endeavour .  Chris and Mick were the first pair to successfully row across the northern Pacific from Choshi, Japan to San Francisco, California back in 2009.  In the Discovery documentary about their record setting row there is a clip where Chris can be seen at the oars talking to Mick in the cabin “Come and row the North Pacific you said, I’ll be fun you said.” whereupon Mick replies “…and you believed me.” To learn more about this epic 189 day journey you can read Mick’s account in his recently published book.

Now that Mick is back at sea he has sent a few personal messages to Chris.  “Row the ocean again you said, it will be fun you said.”  Chris replied “And you believed me?”  We caught a moment on shore that might sum up how Mick is feeling at the moment.

Sparky might be sharing in these sentiments as he reported to our support yacht earlier today that he now knows “how it must fell inside a spin drier” to which our skipper replied “perhaps similar feeling to going over the Niagra Falls in a barrel.”  Over on Uniting Nations Row, they described conditions as “feeling like sardines in this little can.”  With the winds due to ease off

One consistent question we have received from each of the crews is to inquire about how the other crews are fairing.  This is a testament to the bond they created while preparing for this journey and the importance of crews looking after each other.


1 Uniting Nations Row/ Isabel: ROWING – 1973 NM to finish, Rowed 160 NM
2 Team Ripple Effect/ Ripple Effect: ROWING – 1979 NM to finish, Rowed 152 NM
3 Cockleshell Endeavour Pacific/ Bojangles: ROWING – 2040 NM to finish, Rowed 100 NM
4 Pacific Terrific/ Danielle: ROWING – 2060 NM to finish, Rowed 125 NM
5 Team Attack Poverty/ Anne:  RETIRED