More people have been into space than have rowed across an ocean. The majority of ocean rows have taken place over the same route across the Atlantic Ocean from east to west (Canary Islands to the Caribbean). Now, thanks to New Ocean Wave, ocean rowing is coming to the United States of America and to the largest ocean on the planet - The Pacific Ocean.
The Pacific Rowing Race starts in from Monterey Bay, California and finishes in Honolulu, Hawaii, representing a new race route for intrepid individuals and crews. It is a route that has been completed by only a handful of row boats before. The Pacific Rowing Race will increase that number significantly as up to 40 boats containing one, two or four adventurers from around the World set off from the start on 7th June 2014 and head west. The race will be extremely challenging and will push the crews to their limits mentally, emotionally and physically. Each boat uses only human power, no sails, no engines, just muscle. Crews will take more than 1,000,000 oar strokes and consume more than 250,000 calories as they row 2400 miles across the Pacific Ocean in a journey will take them between 35 and 90 days. If previous ocean rows are anything to go by, crews may spend extended periods rowing naked as saltwater soaked clothing can chafe the skin.
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The Pacific Rowing Race is the brainchild of ocean rower Chris Martin who in 2009 became the first to row across the North Pacific in a pair from Japan to San Francisco. This journey took him and team mate Mick Dawson over 6 months to complete. Chris explains how his experiences in the North Pacific gave rise to the idea for the Pacific Rowing Race. "In my row to San Francisco I experienced the most phenomenal feeling on the last day, stepping off a boat I had powered across the ocean using my own muscles. I want to provide our entrants with the chance to have the opportunity to experience the same incredible feeling. Once they have rowed an ocean, our competitors will never look at a globe in the same way again. Those entering the race will also get to experience sights that it is impossible to witness by any other means from whales swimming within feet of the boat to phosphorescence in the water at night, absolutely breath taking natural beauty."
The boats are ruggedly designed and purpose built using carbon fibre and Kevlar to make the boats as light and strong as possible. Boats are approximately 26ft long and 5ft wide and are just big enough to provide safe passage for all crew members for the duration of the challenge. Crews row round the clock taking it in turns to rest and eat. Each crew aims to complete the race without accepting outside assistance and will set out with everything they need including food, medical supplies and satellite communication equipment. The flotilla of crews will be shadowed by a number of support yachts who will be able to provide assistance if it is required.
The last ocean rower to complete the route was environmental campaigner Roz Savage. New Ocean Wave has recruited Roz as a race consultant to ensure all crews benefit from her unique knowledge of the route and her experience as the first female to row across all three of the world's major oceans, Atlantic, Pacific and Indian.
By participating in a race, the risks to those new to the sport are mitigated through rigorous entry requirements, pre-race scrutineering of boats and equipment as well as the support boats.
The rewards on offer to the intrepid few, are great. Many ocean rowers find their voyage a life-changing experience, boosting self-belief and opening up a whole new realm of what is possible.
(Source: New Ocean Wave)