Another achievement for record-setting West Seattle rower Erden Eruç

IMG_0188 (c)Ellen Hoke Photography
(Photos by Ellen Hoke, courtesy The Great Pacific Race)

Another achievement for the West Seattle-residing ocean rower who holds world records including having become the first solo human-powered global circumnavigator: Erden Eruç and a rowing partner completed The Great Pacific Race, billed by its organizers as “the world’s ultimate endurance challenge.” Eruç and Louis Bird, as the Sons of the Pacific team, made the ~2,400-nautical-mile crossing from Monterey, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii in 54 days and 42 minutes, arriving last Thursday.

IMG_0952 (c)Ellen Hoke Photography

Eruç had joined the team days before departure, after Bird’s original partner had to drop out because of illness. The two connected after Bird met Eruç’s wife Nancy Board at a memorial service in San Francisco, and Eruç said he felt he had to fill in, “as an elder in the sport of ocean rowing.” (He celebrated his 55th birthday during the race.) Bird is the son of ocean-rowing legend Peter Bird, who set a record with 938 days of ocean rowing before being lost at sea when his son was just 4 – Eruç has come close to that with 933 days in all after this trip.

This was the second running of The Great Pacific Race; the first was in 2014, the next scheduled for 2018. This year, it had six teams of two or four rowers, all starting the journey on June 4th; Eruç and Bird were the fourth to finish (the first was a four-person crew) and the last finishers are due in Hawaii tomorrow.

(Thanks to Vlad Oustimovitch for the tip on this!)

11 Replies to "Another achievement for record-setting West Seattle rower Erden Eruç"

  • RC August 1, 2016 (7:08 am)

    What is the attachment at the bottom of the “C”?

  • JennyL August 1, 2016 (8:34 am)

    What an inspirational achievement!

  • RC August 1, 2016 (9:15 am)

    I’m even more confused now but thank you.

  • Tom Lynch August 1, 2016 (10:14 am)

    What an incredible feat by an incredible man and friend Erden Eruc, and his protégé Louis Bird (son of former ocean rowing great Peter Bird)… Safe journey to both in all their endeavors. Tom, Sveta and Katya Lynch-Guerneville, Ca.

  • Blinkyjoe August 1, 2016 (10:20 am)

    That is awesome!! I’d love to see the vessel if it ever gets to West Seattle.

  • Brenda August 1, 2016 (3:20 pm)

    I have been watching my former college teammate, Megan, and her partner on Fight The Kraken rowing all summer… glad to see a West Seattle connection here with Erden!! Incredible and inspiring journey by all of the teams. 

  • vlado August 1, 2016 (3:41 pm)

    There were actually eight boats that started the race, two had to drop out due to injury and illness (involving helicopter rescues), and one made it to Hawaii with a partial crew.  This has to be the most rigorous endurance event in the world, rowing day after day in sometimes violent seas.   I saw Erden’s single person ocean row boat that he took around the world solo a few years ago when it was displayed in front of Fauntleroy School, this two person version looks only slightly larger.  And the human story is even more compelling, with Erden acting as a mentor to Louis, who lost his father at sea doing this same unforgiving sport two decades ago.

  • West Seattle Hipster August 1, 2016 (5:26 pm)

    Great story and photos!  Those pictures show a man who is clearly loving life.

  • joy patman August 1, 2016 (9:34 pm)

    love seeing this latest accomplishment, erden!

    i’m especially excited that you were able to share this adventure with your teammate, for whom the entire trip has personal significance. way to go in terms of providing physical, emotional and endurance support on another great adventure that few can ever comprehend.

    happy birthday. put your feet up for a few days!

    it’s well earned–you do west seattle proud!

  • Susan Anstine August 2, 2016 (10:10 am)

    Why isn’t this in the Seattle Times? A great story. Congratulations to both. 

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