Next year in June 2014, Fraser Hart (UK), Samuel Collins (UK), Colin Parker (NZ), and James Wight (UK) will attempt to win the New Ocean Wave Great Pacific Race by being the quickest to paddle from Monterey, CA, to Honolulu, HI.
A team of 4 guys ‘Team Pacific Rowers’ who only met one another recently will be bunking down on a small rowing vessel, taking it in 2 hour shifts, two men at a time, to row the Pacific Ocean. Sounds incredible doesn’t it so I threw some questions at Fraser, one of the motley crew:
Why did you choose to do this rowing challenge?
When the idea of the row came up, I’d just recently got back from NZ so wasn’t looking for my next “adventure” so to speak. Just working to try and patch the holes in my bank account. The row came on to my radar through an adventure blog that I subscribe to and it immediately struck a chord with me and I became utterly obsessed with it. I spoke to Colin, who’s been a close friend since our teens as I knew, out of everyone I knew, he’d be the most likely to be up for it and he was keen too. We decided we were going to do it and decided to do it as a 4 for the sole reasoning that it’s more fun to go to the pub if there are 4 of you than if it’s just the 2 of you.
So to find our 3 & 4 we attended an info event for the row held by the event’s organisers to seek out 2 more rowers. We met Sam there and immediately hit it off, out of everyone there, he was the one that we knew was most serious and as a bonus we all shared a similar sense of humour. We just had to find our 4th. James had also heard about the row and was keen to get involved so he contacted the event’s organisers who put him in touch with us, we met up after a bunch of Skype calls and knew that he was our 4th. We welcomed him on board and paid our race deposit and were ready to get the wheels in motion.
We’ll take even a penny. Anyone who kindly donates will be publicly thanked on our website, twitter and Facebook (unless they’d rather remain anonymous). We are currently accepting donations online via paypal and bitcoin. We have accepted the fact that this is going to sink us into a good deal of debt so anything we make via sponsorship or donations is just a bonus.
Will people be able to follow your progress whilst you’re out sailing the high seas?
Yep. We’ll be tweeting and blogging via an internet connection through sat phone and our location will be broadcast multiple times though out the day so you can check on the boat’s progress through a map on the organisers website. We’ll also be recording and publishing video while we’re at sea.
What is it that drives you to compete in challenges like this?
If I’m honest… I can’t put my finger on a single thing. Maybe just wanting to get more out of life than the standard existence that I see around me everywhere. The 9-5, 2.4 children, evenings in front of the TV, 2 weeks throwing up in Ayia Napa once a year (not that there’s anything wrong with that if it’s what makes people tick – it doesn’t make me tick though). Also, as arrogant as I know this will sound, I think as humans we are all looking for a way to one up our peers. I’m quite a competitive person and and it will be a pretty big deal to me to know that I can accomplish and have accomplished (assuming we don’t sink, ha) what only a handful of other people in history can and have done and hopefully to be able to cross the line before everyone else.
What are each of you in charge of during this preparation period?
At the moment, now we have the boat secured, the big drive for us is to gain sponsorship so we’re all firing out proposals and trying to get the attention of decision makers at companies that we’d like to be involved with. Then all that’s left to do is keep training and ship the boat out before the start of the race.