California Race Prep – Day 1

Prepping in the USA for the Great Pacific Race – Day 1

It’s been a long time coming, there were times over the past few months where visualising this moment seemed almost impossible, but 11 hours after we took off we touched down in San Francisco, the sun shining, and finally in the country from which we will row to Hawaii from in just under three weeks.

El wasn’t arriving from Australia until the following morning, so we took the opportunity to have an overnight stay in San Francisco, doing a whistle stop sight-seeing tour. We drove up Twin Peaks and got our first proper look out on the Pacific from land, a vast ocean disappearing into the horizon. The container ships looked like small toy boats, and it was hard to imagine how small our boat is compared to those. Trying to find an ocean rowing boat out there would really be like looking for a needle in a haystack. We drove up and down the hills, down the zig zag road, over to the sealions at Pier 39 and finally to the Golden Gate Bridge. Ever conscious of our nutrition, we fuelled ourselves with the largest pizza slices we could find (there are some benefits to rowing an ocean!).


Next up was a road trip down the coast, picking up El from San Jose and finally having the crew together for the first time. We stopped for lunch in Santa Cruz (which, by the way, was one of the cleanest beaches we’ve seen, with a large group of people actively partaking in a beach clean) and then dropped into the Oxylent head-quarters to meet Lisa and Patricia who we’ve been speaking with for a few months over email. They’ve kindly supplied us with enough sachets and tubs of sport and multivitamin supplement drinks to take us across to Hawaii, ensuring that we don’t become deficient in any key nutrients due to our limited food options and are able to recover and re-hydrate effectively when not rowing. The different flavours taste amazing and are going to make a huge difference to us out on the boat!


A drive further down the coast bought us to Monterey, the starting point for the Great Pacific Race and where we are basing ourselves for the next 2 ½ weeks. El got to see Danielle for the first time, and thankfully wasn’t put off by her size, lack of space or privacy on board. It’s fair to say that the three of us are going to know each other VERY well by the time we row into Honolulu! The boats will be spending the next few days in the boat yard during which we will spend the time checking over all our kit and sorting out everything we packed onto her in the UK, before we put her in the water next week and begin our long training rows.


A big thank you to Zach and the Flagg family who have so kindly opened up their homes to us whilst we are in Monterey and offered beds, showers and places to sort and store the mountains of kit we have!

Follow our journey to the start line at and on FacebookInstagramYouTube and Twitter.

To donate and be part of our world record attempt see our Sponsorship page – we really appreciate your support, without which, we couldn’t make this happen.

Donate £25 to sponsor a Pacific Terrific Ocean Mile – get a shout out as we row your mile(s)! £50 sponsors 2 miles and feeds a crew member for a day, and any donation of £100 or above will see your name on our boat – you will be with us as we cross the Pacific Ocean!



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