Crew member Megan shares an update on her preparation for the Great Pacific Race!
I’m rowing across the Pacific Ocean. Words I never imagined I’d utter, yet find myself doing so now at least ten times per day. In June 2018, myself and my crew of 2 other brave (or some say, crazy) ladies “Pacific Terrific” will set out from Monterey, California in a 25ft rowing boat, next stop Honolulu, Hawaii 2,400 miles away. No sail. No engine. Just Muscle. In success, we shall be the first crew of 3, male or female, in history ever to row the Pacific, and only the 2nd crew of 3 women ever to row any ocean on earth.
“So you’re a professional rower?” I’m asked, at all too frequent intervals. A reasonable assumption, but no. “So you’ve rowed before though?” is the usual follow up. Again, no! Ocean rowing is a challenge incomparable to any inland oar based activity, and whilst flat water technique will see you well on the Thames, add 30ft waves to the mix and you literally won’t scratch the surface!
Adventurers at heart, we’re lucky to have an abundance of experience in the wilds between us as a crew – be it sailing oceans, climbing mountains, or running ultra trails. But ultimately, we are three women, representing a different decade in age each from our 20s to 50s, whose diverse paths have led to a shared dream, and who are fortunate, and possibly silly enough to be able to say yes to rowing an ocean!
Competing in the Great Pacific Race will see us row in varying shift patterns of 1-3 hours on and off the oars, rowing more than 13 hours a day, at times alone, for up to 2 months unsupported on the open ocean. A huge number of tasks including navigation, desalination of sea water to drink, swimming mid-Pacific to clean the hull of the rowing boat, not least attempting to replace the c.6000 calories burned daily will consume our non-rowing hours. We’ll face sleep deprivation, waves tall as houses, blisters, potential capsizes and dangers from sharks and whales.
Fitness, endurance, strength, the ability to continue when every part of your body is screaming to stop, is absolutely key. The very specific muscle work required to row is entirely new to me, and I am right now staring up at the steep curve I need to climb in just 2.5 short months! With the help and advice of the Esph team I’m now adding multiple weight sessions into my ergo heavy weekly training routine, and I’m confident that quite literally a lot of leg work will get me to the start line shaped up and ready to ship out!
The physical challenge will be immense. But our motivations to succeed are greater. By rowing we hope to show especially that women & girls at any stage can and should dare to dream, to do so big, and to challenge limits wherever they can and wish. We are also rowing to raise funds for the charity Mind, a cause close to us, and to raise awareness of and champion solutions to the issue of Plastic Pollution within our oceans.
To donate and be part of our world record attempt head on over to our Sponsorship page – we really appreciate your support.