History

The first ocean rowing trip across the Pacific was from East to West by John Fairfax and Sylvia Cook in 1971.  They took an island-hopping route from San Francisco to Hayman Island in Australia via a number of stop offs, allowing them to replenish their freshwater supplies and food reserves.  This mammoth journey took under a year.

John Fairfax and Silvia Cook row the Pacific in 1971

John Fairfax and Silvia Cook in their boat Britannia II

In 1976, Patrick Quesnel rowed single-handed from La Push, WA to Hawaii.  He was followed four years later by Peter Bird, also rowing by himself from California and arriving in Hawaii.  It is over this route that the Great Pacific Race is to run.  The record for this ocean rowing route from is held by team Uniting Nations (a four man team) who completed the route in 43 days 5 hours and 30 minutes as part of the Great Pacific Race 2014.

Uniting Nations finish the Great Pacific Race in a new record time

Uniting Nations finish the Great Pacific Race in a new record time

The Great Pacific Race 2014 marked the first event of its kind on the Pacific Ocean, before this no one had raced across the Pacific.  The Great Pacific Race 2016 built on the success of the first race and saw 8 Guinness World Records broken or set by our crews. We that the fastest two man crew could complete the race in as little as 40 days and a four man crew could complete it in around 30 days.

We also understand that not everyone is aiming to break records, but that all are looking for a one-in-a-lifetime experience. As a guide, we believe that a four may take between 30-55 days, a pair between 35-80 days.

Routes taken by all Great Pacific Race crews in 2014

The most direct route is a little over 2,100 nautical miles (nm) (over 2,400 miles or 3,900km). However, all crews will be subject to the same ocean conditions which push the boats off the optimal course. This means the actual distance covered by each crew will be longer than the straight line between the start and finish points.  We found that the distance rowed was between 2624 miles and  2871 miles.

You can view all the crossing times for the Pacific from East to West here.

Next…learn more about the boats and equipment you will use during the Great Pacific Race.

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