First Ever Great Pacific Race to Begin Monday

Roz Savage in Hawaii blank boat smaller

An epic new ocean-rowing race is scheduled to begin on Monday, when 13 teams of rowers, from 10 countries, will set off on the first ever Great Pacific Race. They’ll launch in Monterey, California, with 2400 miles (3862 km) of open ocean in front of them, with the ultimate goal of reaching Honolulu, Hawaii as fast as possible.

The teams are broken down into different categories, with crews of two and four, as well as solo racers, facing the challenge of spending weeks out on the open ocean. While a similar race has been taking place in the Atlantic for a number of years now, this will be the first of its kind in the Pacific, so you can imagine that the rowers, and race organizers, are eager to get things underway.

Unfortunately, bad weather has delayed the start by a couple of days. Initially, the teams has planned to set out tomorrow, June 7. But now, they’ll hold a prologue event with the crews and their boats on display for anyone who wants to attend. They’ll then prepare to embark on the voyage across the ocean on Monday, when conditions look to improve.

It is estimated that the fastest teams – those that have 4 rowers – will take approximately 30 days to finish the route. Meanwhile, the solo rowers are facing as many as 90 days out on the water, which gives you an idea of the challenge that these men and women are facing. And while the shortest route from Monterey to Honolulu is 2400 miles, it is estimated that due to wind and ocean currents, the teams will actually cover closer to 3000 miles (4828 km) on their voyages. All the while they are out on the water, they will need to be completely self sufficient of course, and can’t accept assistance from other boats along the way.

Watch for updates on the race in the days ahead. It should be interesting to see how the teams fare.

Kraig Becker