The training requirements for the Great Pacific Race are more than physical. Most of those participating in the race have not been to sea for an extended period of time before they decided to row across the Pacific so they have a lot of theoretical and practical knowledge to gain before they are ready to take on the ocean. However, the physical aspect of rowing an ocean is such that you don’t need to be monstrously strong or fast, you just need to be able to keep on going no matter what.
Each member of each crew must complete the following courses:
- VHF radio course – Correct use of the VHF radio.
- First Aid – Entry level first aid to take care of knocks and bumps at sea.
- Sea Survival – Detailed knowledge and practical competence in sea survival techniques and equipment.
- Boat safety course – A basic boat safety course which also highlights California specific boating laws.
- Boating skills – An entry level practical course teaching the basics about boat handling and navigations.
- Advanced navigation – A theoretical course covering advanced navigation techniques.
Of course the training doesn’t stop in the classroom and each team must complete a minimum of 48 hours of rowing in their boat before they can participate in the Great Pacific Race and most complete many more. In addition to this most rowers will have completed a physical training schedule to ensure they are in peak physical condition before setting out from Monterey. However, this event is definitely a marathon and not a sprint so the workload and cadence are lower than you might expect. For those of you with rowing experience the average number of strokes per minute at sea is around 16-18 and the 500m split averages 2:30 to 3:00.
If you want the unique experience of a lifetime rowing the Pacific then learn how to enter the Great Pacific Race 2016.