Race Day 30 – July 6

Posted on July 7, 2018 in Cockleshell Endeavour, Great Pacific Race 2018, Pacific Terrific, Uniting Nations 2018

Weather:  Uniting Nations Row will have 17-20 kt winds from the North East  / North North East with 8-11 ft. seas.  Pacific Terrific will have 16-20 kt winds from the North East / East North East with 11-12 ft seas.  Cockleshell Pacific Endeavour will have 15-20 kt winds from the North East with 10-12 ft seas.

Today was the last day that FABIO had an advisory published on the national hurricane center‘s website.  After threatening to run down our crews with hurricane force winds, the threat posed by FABIO has almost vanished.  The rapid weakening of FABIO was caused by the system passing over far cooler ocean temperatures than are required to support a hurricane.  There is some sense of serendipity in that the cold waters that have put all crews under such pressures earlier on, generated such misery and played a part in the retirement of two crews has now in some sense protected the crews that remain from the threat of a hurricane.

The remnants of FABIO will effect all crews but Pacific Terrific and Cockleshell Pacific Endeavour will get hit the hardest.  We are not going to sugar coat it – tonight is going to be a rough ride for these two teams, but they know how to handle these types of conditions now.  The struggle for these teams comes less from the wind speeds and more from the confused seas which will be high and have a short period between waves causing the boats to be thrown around.  Fortunately, by the end of the morning, the wave height is forecast to be a meter less in height.  So it really is a single night that our rowers need to get through.

Pacific Terrific reported to our Support Yacht earlier this evening “So the waves are quite big and breaking.  Trying to decide whether to row or drift overnight.”  The option to drift and try to get some rest sounded the most appealing to the girls so they turned on their navigation lights, made sure their AIS alarm and radar transponder were turned on and have tucked themselves in for the night.

Everyone on the water is very much a member of the same family which was exemplified just a short time later when our lead boat of Uniting Nations Row, who are enjoying some strong easterly winds pushing them on their way to Hawaii compliments of FABIO, checked in with our support yacht just to see how the other teams were fairing, as well as asking how our support yacht crew was holding up.  Here was the reply from the Support Yacht.

“Peaceful on Present Moment.  We spend time on heave-to then reposition the boat.  FABIO is just SW of us.  All three [Pacific Terrific, Cockleshell Pacific Endeavour and Present Moment] are seeing 20-25 knot persistent winds gusting to 30.  It will settle in 24 hours, waves will diminish.”

Today also marks the end of the first month of the race.  We take the opportunity to look back at where we were in earlier editions of the race at this same time.  Here is part of the report from this day during the 2014 race:

As the calendar marks the one month mark, we seem to hear a little less from our crews for a variety of reasons.  For several teams they have learnt the hard way that they must conserve electricity on the boat.  With significant cloud cover over large portions of the Pacific for the last couple of weeks, some teams have not been able to keep their electronics charged as they seek to conserve the little power that the solar panels were generating.   As teams continue on their quest west, sunnier skies are in the forecast.  The communications blackout seems to be lifting, but the content of the messages we receive seem to be more conservative.

It’s interesting to read this as the same holds true for our crews this year as well.  We know that sunnier skies and warmer weather will soon arrive for our teams, especially for Uniting Nations Row.  Today their miles to go slipped down into just three digits as they have less than 1,000 nautical miles to go.

1 Uniting Nations Row/ Isabel: ROWING – 987 NM to finish, Rowed 1212 NM
2 Pacific Terrific/ Danielle: ROWING – 1525 NM to finish, Rowed 875 NM
3 Cockleshell Pacific Endeavour / Bojangles: ROWING – 1613 NM to finish, Rowed 797 NM
Team Attack Poverty/ Anne:  RETIRED
Team Ripple Effect/ Ripple Effect: RETIRED