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First-Ever Ocean Rowing Race to Hawaii Will Launch from Monterey, California

15 Crews from Nine Countries Row 2100 nautical miles in the Great Pacific Race

MONTEREY, Calif., May 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The city of Monterey has been selected as the launch site for the inaugural Great Pacific Race, the first human-powered rowing race from California to Hawaii, set for a historic launch on June 7th, 2014.

The official start of this first biannual 2100 nautical mile race will be just outside Monterey Marina opposite the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Selection of Monterey as the start point for the race was based on weather patterns, facilities available, and support for the race demonstrated by the community including the Monterey City Council and local yacht clubs.

"The City of Monterey is extremely honored & proud that the Great Pacific Race has chosen our bay as its starting point for this great event," said Monterey City Council member Frank Sollecito. Race Director Chris Martin will announce the decision at the Stillwater Yacht Club in Pebble Beach on Monday, May 20th, 2013, following a presentation about his own ocean rowing exploits, including his 2009 world record as part of the first team to row from Japan to San Francisco.

"Monterey is the perfect spot for this historic biannual event," said Martin. "The cooperation and warmth of the city demonstrated by City Mayor Chuck Della Sala and from members of the local community including the Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club mean we will come back again every two years to make Monterey the launch venue of choice. With its relationship to the Pacific Ocean, there really is no place like Monterey."

15 crews made up of 38 courageous individuals from nine different countries have confirmed their entry into the race so far. The fleet of ocean rowing boats currently consists of four solo rowers, five two-person boats and six four-person boats. However, registration remains open until early September.

Crews will not use engines or sails, relying instead on their own bodies to propel their boats across a section of the world's largest ocean, ending in Honolulu, Hawaii. Due to advances in on-board technology, boat design and materials, race organizers expect that most crews will break the route's current world record of 64 days, set in 1997. They believe that the fastest two-person crew could complete the race in as little as 40 days and a four-person crew could complete it in around a month.

Crews and their support teams will arrive in Monterey in May 2014 to make final preparations to their boats. Race Director Chris Martin is committed to the safety and security of the crews. Support boats (some of which will be local boats from Monterey) will follow the crews into the ocean, sending back footage taken of and from the racing boats as well as providing assistance if required.

Highlights of the race include:

  • Crews will be tracked through a satellite beacon which uploads their position to a website every two hours. A videoblog of the journey will be made available on sponsor websites.
  • Crews can expect to face winds in excess of 30 knots and waves higher than 40 feet.
  • Crewmembers generally row for two hours before switching with their teammate. One-man crews will row for up to 16 hours throughout the day, having a longer rest at night.
  • Life on board is stark with few comforts. The bedroom is the size of a six-foot-high cupboard and the bathroom is a bucket. There are only two "rooms" on board and there is no TV, fridge or shower.
  • Drinking water is provided via a small desalination device powered by solar panels that also power on-board electrical equipment.
  • Food supplies are restricted to freeze dried army-style rations requiring rehydration with boiling water from the boat's cooker.
  • Crew backgrounds are varied. Some are Olympians and some are novices.

Prospective crews, sponsors or interested parties may visit the website for more information at or contact:

Chris Martin, Race Director
[email protected] 
(USA) 831.920.4636
(UK) 44 (0) 7967. 826. 833

Sponsors and media:
Jessica Switzer
[email protected]
(USA) 415.381.1100

SOURCE New Ocean Wave

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