At long last, after 75 days, 9 hours, 25 minutes of rowing the Pacific Ocean, enduring two hurricanes, running out of cheese and Oreo cookies, and having just run out of red wine, the two-man team of CC4 Pacific finally rowed into Hawaii.
As the seventh and final boat to finish, French cousins Christophe Papillion and Clement Heliot aboard La Cigogne completed the 2,800-mile journey from Monterey, California, to Waikiki on Saturday night and officially brought an end to the Great Pacific Race.
"So glad to be here, and we're feeling so weird now," Heliot told KITV soon after arriving in Hawaii. "After 75 days, we couldn't walk normally. It's like we were drunk."
KITV in Hawaii has a report, and shows their wobbly sea legs as they disembark their boat:
CC4 Pacific finished the race a month after the winning boat--the four-man crew of Uniting Nations--reached Hawaii, and nearly 16 days after the second-to-last finisher, the four-woman crew Boatylicious.
Though they were last overall among finishers (six teams retired), the Frenchmen were first in Classic Pairs, an achievement that is a bit skewed since they were the only ones entered in that category.
The two rowers underestimated the time it would take them to reach Hawaii, figuring it would take 50 days. It didn't help that hurricanes Iselle and Julio passed by them 150 nautical miles to their south. They were instructed to deploy their parachute anchor and hunker down inside the watertight cabin, and they did for four days.
"In the cabin it was like a washing machine," Papillion told KITV. "You feel the huge wave smashing into the boat. It was a little bit scary, but we did well."
It could have been far worse.
After the hurricanes passed, race headquarters posted this on Day 61, August 9:
As harsh as these strong gale conditions may sound, had CC4 Pacific not dropped their parachute anchor and slowed down 4 days ago, they would have been facing Force 12, 80kt (Hurricane force winds) with waves over 40ft high. They would have been in a strong or whole gale with sustained winds of about 88 knots, gusting to 105 knots.
Interestingly, the Frenchmen, who traded off rowing every two hours, followed daily rituals, presumably to prevent going stir-crazy. They cooked every meal and dined together, and at sunset would enjoy one glass of wine, until the wine ran out on Day 74. Each day they allowed themselves two Oreo cookies. They took 240 Oreos. Sundays were special: They made pancakes.
When asked what they missed most during their journey, the pair answered simultaneously: "Cheese!"
Next time, they’ll probably take more.
The final standings:
1. Uniting Nations (Classic Fours), 44 days, 17 hours, 30 minutes.
2. Battleborn (Classic Fours), 45 days, 7 hours, 24 minutes.
3. Noman (Classic Fours), 50 days, 3 hours, 17 minutes.
4. Fat Chance Row (Open Pair; 1st), 53 days, 23 hours, 43 minutes.
5. Pacific Warriors (Classic Fours), 57 days, 5 hours, 45 minutes
6. Boatylicious (Classic Fours), 59 days, 19 hours, 14 minutes.
7. CC4 Pacific (Classic Pairs, 1st), 75 days, 9 hours, 25 minutes.
Retired: Elsa Hammond, Pacific Rowers, Row for Hope, Rowing 4 Reefs, Clearly Contacts CA
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