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Blog #11 - Fleet Update from World's Toughest Row
June 21, 2023

Fleet Update From the Pacific! Jun 21 18:00 UTC (from Facebook)

It’s been a breathtaking 9 days since our 14 teams set off from Monterey Harbor, California and began their journey to Kaua’i, Hawaii. For most, this is just an unimaginable amount of time to spend out on the ocean! This is just the beginning, with an estimated 30-70 days for the entire 2,800 mile journey.

As the crews embarked on their journey from the shore, the leaders were fortunate to encounter slightly more favourable winds. Meanwhile, the rear of the fleet found themselves caught in an eastward current, resulting in a visible dispersion of the teams - a leading pair, a chasing pack, and a rear pack. You’ll be able to see this on the tracker app - YB Races!

With the shifting weather conditions and the progress made by the crews, they are now experiencing an increase in speed. The wind and waves are propelling them from the rear, offering fleet-wide speeds of approximately 3 knots. It's a promising development as they ride the momentum of these favourable conditions.

Navigating the ocean can be like a puzzle, and there are hidden and powerful forces at play that can make or break this journey. Looking ahead, the crews are beginning to turn westward, utilising the winds and currents to their advantage. However, a critical decision awaits them - determining how far south to venture. A low-pressure system is forming, and straying too far north could potentially subject them to headwinds. It's a delicate judgment call, and they must carefully navigate this fine line to ensure they make optimal progress toward their destination.

Despite the challenges they face, our courageous crews remain undeterred. The temperatures continue to be chilling, with air and water temperatures hovering around 15°C (59°F). However, the wind chill factor makes it feel even colder, more akin to 10°C (50°F). As they progress further, brighter days await them, and we might even see a few dip into the waters to clean their boats and take a swim!

As our teams battle the elements, each stroke of the oar brings them closer to Kaua’i. This race is not just about rowing towards a finish line; it is the journey that holds the ultimate reward. Whether a team crosses first or last, this adventure will change them forever and unite them by an achievement so extraordinary that few ever claim!

Kiwi Fondue - 1541NM to go! Leading the Fours

Fours · R45 · IG - @kiwifondue

Our unstoppable team from the UK & Switzerland are still leading the fleet! It's a neck-and-neck battle with Ocean Warrior, and these leading teams are pulling ahead of the rest of the teams. Through the mental and physical exertion, their energy is radiating positivity! On board are Alex, Lorenz, Alexander and Richard. Alexander and Lorenz are brothers! What a breathtaking experience to row side-by-side with family.


Ocean Warrior - 1556NM to go!

Fours · RX45 · IG -

It really is shaping up to be quite the race between our two leading teams! With a long stretch of the Pacific still ahead, the race is far from over, and anything can happen on the ocean. Lasse said "The weather is not doing us any favours, but we are not here for favours. We are here to do the work." Talk about determination and grit! The competition is fierce, but our warriors are up to the task and have settled into a solid rhythm, rowing with remarkable efficiency.


Pacific Discovery - 1745NM to go!

Fours · R45 · Pacific Discovery

Pacific Discovery, forging ahead in the race, has surpassed Ohana and is now focused on evading potential headwinds by heading further south to avoid an upcoming low-pressure system. They have reported seeing debris in the water, and even had a very unexpected encounter with a tree! Who’d’ve thought it?! When it comes to combating the chilly weather, they've become experts at layering up. Socks, thermals, and long johns, all stacked up to keep them cozy during their well-deserved off shifts. They are eagerly anticipate clearer skies and warmer days!


Ohana - 1752NM to go!

Fours · R45 · Team Ohana - Pacific 2023 & Foar From Home - Atlantic 2021

Marina, Paul, Iris, and Mat have been keeping morale high! It has been so cold, they have been making jokes about seeing icebergs! Practical issues surfaced with a broken dagger board, but the quick-thinking crew swiftly replaced it with a spare, ensuring no significant disruption to their progress. There have been sightings of whales and immense clouds of man'o'war jellyfish, enough to even put Paul off going in for a swim!


Pacific One - 1766NM to go!

Fours · R45 · Pacific One

The wind has a mind of its own, making the rowing a bit of a wild ride for our intrepid team of Four. That is not deterring them and they’re making headway, one stroke at a time. Soreness and blisters are becoming part of their routine, yet the team is mindful of self-care during their breaks. Recently, they got up close and personal with a ginormous tanker ship. Talk about a reality check! In the grand scheme of things, they're a very small boat in a very big ocean.


Row Aurora - 1804NM to go! Leading the Trios

Trio · R45 · Row Aurora

Look who is still leading the Trios! They are keeping up the pace! It's not been easy - they have been battling freezing temperatures and fog, keeping cozy in their wooly hat Seeing their first real sunrise of the journey was a big boost for everyone. They're working very hard and their effort shows as they continue to push forward.


Team Antigua Island Girls - 1819NM to go!

Trio · RX45 · Team Antigua Island Girls

Kevinia, Samara & Cristal are coming in hot behind our current leading Trio, Row Aurora, leaving it all to play for. Over this first leg of their journey, the team are embodying the spirit of persistence. Even though they are fatigued, they are plowing through like an unstoppable force of nature. Like they say, tough times don't last, but tough people do! All three of these incredible women are powering through with a determination that's nothing short of inspiring.


Brothers ’N Oars - 1835NM to go!

Fours · R45 · Brothers N' Oars

Brothers 'N Oars have had their fair share of challenges on this epic journey so far. Just yesterday, they faced what they thought was a hull breach that took them by surprise. Oli discovered water, in the stern cabin but they quickly sprang into action, searching for the source of the water and worked together to patch it up, removing the water with a stirrup pump. While rowing on choppy waves they also broke an oar - the Pacific Ocean is really putting them to the test!


HODL - 1846NM to go!

Trio · R45 · HODL

Matt, Cutu, and Luca are the adventurous trio riding the waves of the Pacific! The nights grow colder, they've become pros at wrapping up warm. They've finally established a consistent eating routine, and guess what's topping their list of favourites? Bolognese! Spending over a week at sea for our team has meant their bodies and minds become accustomed to the relentless swells. It's all in a day's work!


Aloha Kai - 1898NM to go! Leading the Pairs

Pairs · R25 · Aloha Kai 2023

Our fearless pair have been battling the elements, and they've been getting pretty wet out there from the big waves! That’s all part of the excitement, right? It's been a tough week for Aloha Kai, and they know that the road ahead won’t be easy either. They're putting all their training and preparation to work and drawing on every ounce of strength and skill. Their days are broken with a few hours spent on their para-anchor, a temporary respite amidst the relentless ocean currents.


Ocean’s 4 - 1900NM to go!

Fours · DOR34 · Ocean's 4

Rough conditions and massive waves have put their skills and determination to the test for our team of four from Switzerland. With improved weather and the welcome appearance of sunshine, their spirits have soared. It's amazing how a little sunshine can brighten the mood and bring a wave of positivity! Sea sickness, is now a thing of the past for Philipp, Astrid, Toni and Denise! They've conquered the queasy waves and found their sea legs.


Pacific Floaters - 1969NM to go!

Pairs · R25 · Pacific.floaters

Dewey and Catharina are starting to make the distance! Every mile covered brings them closer to their destination, and with that the positive energy is flowing. Their journey took an intense turn when a powerful wave hit their boat so hard that Catchi was knocked half out of the boat. They are both safe and well! When conditions permit, they are rowing together, and if not they wait it out on their trusty para-anchor. Recently they rowed together for 12 hours straight, could you imagine that?!


Flyin’ Fish - 2007NM to go!

Fives · R45 · Team FlyinFish

Since our last update about their lost rudder, our team of Five are still patiently waiting for the conditions to calm down to allow them to safely replace it. Replacing the rudder is no small feat! It requires donning an immersion suit, life jacket, and securing themselves with double lines. While they're temporarily on hold, Flyin' Fish is using this time wisely, staying prepared and ready to get back on track. Let's root for them as they gear up for the rudder replacement and continue their voyage towards the finish line!


Trio · Spindrift · Row4ALS

As previously posted, sadly due to personal issues, Tim, Abel and Dale have made the decision to terminate their row across the Pacific and head back into land. We will be updating you as they row back to a harbor on the California coastline, where they will be met by an Atlantic Campaigns representative and assisted with recovery and return.

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