(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.
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!)
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