An all-female rowing team is gearing up for a massive undertaking in 2013. The four women on the Coxless Rowing squad are busy planning and training for an attempt to row across the Pacific Ocean next year. In order to succeed in this venture, they estimate that they’ll need to spend upwards of six months at sea, covering more than 8500 miles in the process.
The team, which consists of Annabel Hancock, Laura Penhaul, Becky Scott and Wendy Hilton, will take on the Pacific in three distinct stages. First, they intend to set out from San Francisco next June and spend approximately 50 days rowing 3000 miles to Hawaii. From there, the 2600+ mile second stage will take them on to Samoa and finally, the third stage will cover an additional 2810 miles over 45 days, ending in Cairns, Australia.
At the moment, the ladies are concentrating on training for the physical demands that this journey will put on their bodies. That means learning proper rowing techniques, building strength and endurance, and spending lots of time in a boat pulling the oars. In the weeks ahead, they will extend that training to several endurance outings that will have them rowing for hours, and even days, at a time. All of that hard work should pay off next summer when they hit the ocean and begin rowing two-hour shifts non-stop, 24-hours a day, for the length of the journey.
The women aren’t just busy training however, they are also anxiously awaiting the arrival of their specially designed rowboat. Construction on the vessel should be complete in December and it will be ready for its first ocean tests in January. That boat will serve as home for the six months that the Coxless team is at sea, so any and all design kinks need to be worked out ahead of time. Additionally, the boat will be outfitted with solar panels, water desalination systems and other technology that will have to be tested before they embark next June.
This crossing of the Pacific Ocean will be a challenging endeavor to say the least, but the four rowers aren’t doing it just for the adventure. They plan to use their efforts to raise funds for at least two different charities. They haven’t announced exactly which charities they’ll be partnering with yet, but their website indicates that announcement will be coming soon.
I’ve always admired these ocean rowing teams. The amount of effort that it takes to cover the vast distances for crossing such a large body of water is really quite impressive. It should be fun to follow this team on Facebook and Twitter when they get started next summer.
By Kraig Becker
[Photo Credit: Coxless Rowing]