The history of the route

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.  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 Pacific Rowing Race is to run (exact start and finish ports will be announced shortly). The record for this ocean rowing route from is held by Mick Bird, who rowed it single-handed in 1997 in a time of 64 days.
The Great Pacific Race

The New Ocean Wave Great Pacific Race marks the first event of its kind on the Pacific Ocean, no one before has raced across the Pacific in a human powered race like this.  With advances in on-board technology, boat design and materials, we expect that most crews taking part in this event will break the current World Record: we believe 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.  To date, the Pacific ocean hasn’t been rowed by a four person crew.

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 suggest that a four may take between 30-55 days, a pair between 35-80 days and a single between 45-90 days.

The most direct route is a little over 2,100 nautical miles (over 2,400 statue miles).  However, all crews will be subject to the same ocean conditions which will 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.


  1. [...] some very basic questions about ocean rowing in general, and there are also pages dedicated to the history of the route, boats and equipment to be used, what to expect out of the weather, and [...]