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Blog #4 - December 28, 2022

We hope you and your family had a very Merry Christmas!
As the year comes to a close, I find myself reflecting back over the past year.  Jayme and her teammate finished the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge on Feb 2nd and I completed it on February 21st.  On one hand it already seems like a life time ago but on the other hand it seems like it was yesterday.  These feelings have been heightened over the past two weeks as we have followed the 2022 fleet as they have begun their own journeys across the Atlantic.  We have been following several teams closely including Miriam of Seas the Day.  She bought Jack Keane from me and is also undertaking a solo crossing – at only 23 yrs old!!!  Watching her and other teams get pushed south in the past couple of days due to a low-pressure system, has brought back so many memories from my own crossing.  Not to mention she broke an oar this week.

I also reflected back on my first Pacific Challenge blog post in August.  In it, I mentioned how we had the logistical advantage for the Pacific due to our experience in preparing for the Atlantic and not having to ship our boat to the start line.  One factor I didn’t discuss was the accelerated training window.  Many teams spend 2-3 years preparing to row the Atlantic.  I personally spent 20 months.  For the Pacific Challenge we are dealing with a significantly more compressed schedule.  This is the inaugural race and while it was announced last fall, a number of us only signed up this year - giving us a little over a year to prepare. 
Of course, it’s more accelerated than that given we have to have all our mandatory requirements completed by March 1, 2023.  To show how this plays out in the real world here are some pieces of our timeline: 

  • June 3, 2022 – Jayme and I submitted our Pacific Challenge registration application

  • June 4, 2022 – Owen reached an agreement to purchase Lily

  • July 27, 2022 – Lily delivered to port in the UK for shipping to USA

  • September 1, 2022 – Owen picked Lily up in California

Lily arrival.jpg

So our training window is 12 months from time we submitted our race registration; we really only have 6 months to complete our mandatory requirements including training hours.  And we are doing this during the winter months – Jayme and I were planning on a training row this week but a winter storm system has come in – making it impossible for me to tow Lily over the Sierra Nevada to train on SF Bay. 
To further show how this shorten window is impacting other teams – when I wrote my 1st blog in August, I noted that there were 56 rowers on 16 teams from 9 countries signed up for the row.  As of last week, there were 52 rowers on 13 teams from 8 countries.  We have seen at least one team defer to 2024, seen teams that have changed out teammates and other teams withdraw completely.  This week another USA team joined the race.  So as of now, we’ll have two all USA teams in the race.  Very exciting!!!
Yes we have certain logistic advantages, but it in no way means showing up on the start line next June will be a walk in the park. 
As we approach the start of 2023, Jayme and I are excited about how much we have accomplished already.  We have completed our mandatory classes, have over 80% of our training hours completed and have most of our mandatory equipment. 


And of course, even more amazing has been your support to us and our two causes.  We have already raised $60,000 for Okizu!  There are still few days to make a donation for the 2022 tax year.
In closing, we wish you and your family a Happy New Year and hope you will continue to follow us in 2023 and you will also encourage your family, friends and coworkers to follow our journey.
Jayme and Owen

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