Last week several teams pushed off the dock with their high tech row boats and headed west to Hawaii. In what could take 60-90 days until they spot the volcanic paradise, it's going to be tough going for the single and double rowers. Just getting off the coast proved to be a daunting challenge in 20-30 knot winds:
"Team NOMAN shoved off about 18 hours after solo racer Daryl Farmer pushed off from the dock. Farmer pushed hard during his first several hours of rowing and appeared to have made it beyond Point Pinos in good time. However overnight he was pushed back into Monterey Bay, where he was in the company of fellow solo racers Elsa Hammond and Jim Bauer who have been circling inside the bay since the start last Monday. Strong prevailing winds have made getting around Point Pinos the biggest challenge, especially for the solo rowers who have all deployed a parachute anchor while sleeping to avoid drifting backwards too far. In today’s daylight hours, all the solo racers are heading out to the mouth of Monterey Bay once again to try to get beyond this elusive point. Mary Rose of Project Flight Plan is the only solo racer still on shore. A medial kit being shipped from the UK had been delayed in US Customs and an electrical fix needed to her boat identification system have prevented Mary from joining the race. Today, just after the weather window closed, with her electrical issue fixed, the package arrived. Mary, along with the other remaining crews, will need to wait until June 16 or 17 when the next weather window opens for them, allowing them to depart.
The French team of CC4 Pacific are starting to make the break into the deeper waters of Monterey Canyon. According to Race Director Chris Martin, “Once teams pass over the threshold, the waves become more of a rounded swell than choppy onshore waves allowing for more comfortable rowing.” In other news for the French from their shore team, the two cousins of Clement and Christophe reported they “rowed many [hours] and are not moving as much as they would like because winds and current. They have bad back but their morale is always fixed. They saw their first whale today!”
Check out the website here.
And here is an article about another couple that is just doing the row to the islands for "fun".