Blog #9 - First fleet update from World's Toughest Row
Fleet Update From the Pacific! Jun 16 20:30 UTC
Let’s catch up with our inspirational 14 teams in this epic adventure as they cross the Pacific Ocean!
Escaping the clutches of the California coastline is a formidable task, which is why you may have noticed there are no Solo rowers in the World's Toughest Row - Pacific! Every single mile is fought hard - tooth and nail! Our determined fleet are giving it their all to break free from the relentless pull of the currents, aiming to reach the favourable trade winds.
The Pacific Ocean is not going easy on our rowers! The winds and waves have been relentless! In the past 48 hours, several teams have sought refuge by deploying their para-anchors, a device that is used to stabilise and anchor their boat. There have been several edge-of-your-seat knockdowns, where boats momentarily roll to the side before swiftly recovering. Thankfully, there have been no capsizes so far!
The first five days are always tough, and these conditions prove to be no exception. Following some very tricky conditions, all of our crews have are no longer on para-anchor and are making westward progress as the conditions have been much calmer. As anticipated, our teams are experiencing expected challenges like seasickness, soreness, and blistered hands. This is exactly what our teams have been putting in countless hours of training in for, they have got this!
On top of the sleep deprivation and physical challenge is that the climate is also much cooler, a unique feature to the Pacific in comparison to the Atlantic. This is why you’ll see our rowers much more layered up! It doesn’t stop there, the temperatures will also rise much hotter as our rowers draw closer to Kaua’i.
Amidst these trials, moments of unimaginable beauty have made every single hardship worthwhile. The wildlife encounters have been absolutely spectacular. There have been sightings of humpback whales, dolphins, sharks, and even jellyfish have gracing our team’s journeys. Did you know that the sharks of the Pacific are much larger and more curious than their Atlantic counterparts?!
Looking forward, our leading teams will rowing back into windier weather patterns… Mother Nature holds nothing back! We are in awe of their spirit. Could you imagine being in a tiny boat surrounded as far as the eye can see by towering rolling waves?
Kiwi Fondue - 1907NM to go! Leading the Fours
Fours · R45 · IG - @kiwifondue
Kiwi Fondue have put in an extraordinary effort, and all of their hard work is paying off as they have secured first place within the fleet! With ginormous waves and very strong winds, there have been a few nail-biting close calls. Alex was flung out of his seat so forcefully that his shoes were left on the foot plate after a rogue wave struck! Everyone on-board is okay after the knockdown.
Ocean Warrior - 1911NM to go!
Fours · RX45 · IG - @oceanwarrior.dk
Right on the tails of Kiwi Fondue are Ocean Warrior, a very strong team from Denmark! On-board is Joachim, a rowing Olympic bronze-medalist. Our intrepid four have faced waves have so fierce they’ve boat has been tipped on it’s side. The result of this is everything has been completely soaked - rowers and their equipment alike!
Ohana - 2000NM to go!
Aboard with Ohana there is plenty of laughter and smiles. It looks like their infectious energy from the Race Start just won’t stop. They are in a neck and neck tussle for third position with Pacific Discovery who are hot on their heels! The indomitable four is steadfast, rowing through whatever comes their way.
Pacific Discovery - 2000NM to go!
Fours · R45 · Pacific Discovery
Our multi-national team of four have been navigating through the challenging conditions. After a short stint patiently waiting out the rough weather on para-anchor, they have resumed their course and dipped South! With their determination, there will be no stopping them! Luckily, the sea sickness is subsiding… rolling waves for days on end is enough to make anyone queasy!
Row Aurora - 2010NM to go! Leading the Trios
Trio · R45 · Row Aurora
Dawn, Sophie and Kay are leading the Trios! Their herculean efforts are paying off, and they are raging a war against relentless currents of the Pacific. Attempting to row just one-up proved futile, as they found themselves propelled in backwards. In response, our trio have resorted to a gruelling schedule of two hours rowing followed by just one hour of precious sleep. Could you handle that insane schedule?!
Pacific One - 2010NM to go!
Fours · R45 · Pacific One
Through the sea sickness, sore hands and bums, Pacific One are keeping their wonderfully sunny and positive outlook onboard! The past few nights have been difficult, with gusts reaching the 20’s. With days of rowing against the wind, and some days with no wind at all, they have described the experience to be like rowing through treacle!
Team Antigua Island Girls - 2012NM to go!
Trio · RX45 · Team Antigua Island Girls
For Kevinia, Samara and Christal the cold temperatures have been tough and had to layer up! The sleep deprivation and sea sickness can be brutal but this is exactly what they’ve trained for. As soon as they hit better weather they will be on a roll. We just know the playlist aboard their boat will be exceptional and keeping up their morale!
Brothers ’N Oars - 2020NM to go!
Fours · R45 · Brothers N' Oars
Raging winds and waves have brought our brave team of four close to a knockdown during a few ‘ropey’ nights. You never know how you’ll have to adapt once you get out on the ocean, anything can happen. Early power issues meant a very long night of foot steering. Through a clever switch of tactics, our crew are now rowing three-up rowing has helped their progress massively while making the most of calmer conditions.
HODL - 2025NM to go!
Trio · R45 · HODL
Matt, Jorge and Luca have made a very smart move… stocking up on treats like cookies and muffins for their first week! Magical moments like rowing under the sunshine, music blasting while whales surround have made all the setbacks worth it. The non-stop rhythm of rowing on rougher seas has unfortunately meant that sea sickness has been in full swing.
Flyin’ Fish - 2030NM to go!
Fives · R45 · Team FlyinFish
Dolphins, sharks and whales! What more could you ask for? Mother Nature has blessed our team of five with some wonderful magnificent wildlife sightings. With four team members of Flyin’ Fish having already crossed the Atlantic, they are well versed in the aches and pains at the start of an epic ocean crossing.
Ocean’s 4 - 2031NM to go!
Fours · DOR34 · Ocean's 4
Our amazing team of four from Switerzland are keeping their spirits high! Their resilience knows no bounds through the swirling currents and a few rough few days. A deviation in their course early on ended up working very well for their positioning and they are looking forward to calmer conditions!
Aloha Kai - 2038NM to go! Leading the Pairs
Pairs · R25 · Aloha Kai 2023
In the face of the mighty Pacific, Jayme and Owen have confronted 15ft swells, headwinds and a heart-stopping wave that resulted in a knockdown and a broken oar! Recently they deployed their para-anchor to allow them them moments of respite without losing their hard-earned ground. Amidst the tumultuous rolling waves, both team members have managed to avoid the dreaded sea sickness.
Row4ALS - 2041NM to go!
Trio · Spindrift · Row4ALS
Aboard Row4ALS are Tim and Abel, father and son, and their good friend Dale! Currently securing the second spot in the Pairs category, they, like the rest of our fleet, are engaged in a battle against powerful currents. Their intrepid spirit, combined with their familial bond on-board, is sure to be fuelling their determination.
Pacific Floaters - 2044NM to go!
Pairs · R25 · Pacific.floaters
Dewey and Catharina aren’t letting anything hold them back! With every stroke of their oar they are proving how tenacious they truly are and won’t let anything dampen their resolve. As they navigate the unrelenting tides, they are keeping to a rhythm of alternating two-hour shifts.