Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Great Pacific Race Update: Rowers Arriving in Hawaii

It has been a few weeks since I last posted about the Great Pacific Race, and over that period of time, the crews aboard their boats have been making steady progress towards the finish line in Hawaii. In fact, the first teams began arriving there last week, becoming the first to complete the inaugural edition of the race, which promises to become one of the most challenging endurance events on the planet moving forward.

For those who haven't been following along with the race, it began back on June 7, with 13 teams setting out from Monterey, California for Honolulu, Hawaii. Ahead of them sat 2400 mile (3862 km) of open ocean, with choppy seas, big swells, and difficult storms to overcome. A few of the entrants didn't make it very far, dropping out of the race while just a few days in, but others have pressed forward. Now, nearly 50 days into the race, two boats have come home, a third should arrive today, and the remaining rowers continue pressing on.

Last Tuesday, the first team reached finish line when the four-man crew known as Uniting Nations arrived in Hawaii after 43 days on the water. Two days later, the second team, named Battleborn, also wrapped up their row. That squad, which is also a four-person crew, arrived on July 24. The third team, Noman Is An Island, is expected to arrive sometime today.

That leaves five teams still out on the water, with most expected to arrive over the next few weeks. All of them are making great progress towards their goal, although on solo rower, Elsa Hammond, seems to be struggling to get her boat out into the ocean currents that will help carry her to Hawaii. She is far behind the others, and will undoubtedly be the last rower to reach the finish line.

Considering that this is the first ever GPR, it seems that the race has been a remarkable success so far. Despite a rocky start due to some poor weather, the crews have made excellent progress crossing the Pacific. This bodes well for future editions of the race, which looks to be the Pacific's version of the Talisker Atlantic Challenge. While there are no plans to hold the event again next year, race organizers are already gearing up for another edition to take place in 2016.

Congratulations to everyone who has already finished their Great Pacific Race, and good luck to those still out on the water.

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