Previous Pacific rows

Recognized routes

All ocean rowing routes are predominantly dictated by the prevailing weather and ocean currents. It doesn’t take much wind, many big waves or a particularly strong current before rowing boats fail to make progress and get pushed in the wrong direction. Therefore, all ocean rowing trips try to plan their routes with the prevailing weather conditions in mind. The Pacific has two main routes of which the east to west route is further sub-divided.

1 – Pacific Ocean: West-East

The Pacific West to East route is normally from Japan but could also be from Russia to the USA or Canada.  At the time of writing, this route has only been completed successfully by three crews (two solos and one double).  At around 5,500 miles, even the shortest route between start and finish points takes a very long time to complete especially as there is nowhere to stop at en route.  The average crossing time for this route is 151 days.

2 – Pacific Ocean: East – West
2.1 – Pacific Ocean: East-West (non-stop)

Crossing the Pacific Ocean: East to West non-stop involves crews setting out from the USA or South America and heading west. Those who attempt this journey tend to aim for Australia but can get pushed north and finish in New Guinea.  The route was first completed by Peter Bird in 1982 (see earlier references). The average journey time is 293 days.

2.2 – Pacific Ocean: East-West (with stops)

The Pacific east to west route with stops follows the same overall route as the non-stop version, but the rowers stop over on various islands en route. When they stop, it can be just to resupply their boat with food (and in days gone by with water) and mend any damaged equipment, or it can be to wait until another period in the year when the weather is more favorable. This island-hopping route was the way that the ocean rowers first completed an ocean row in the Pacific and was pioneered by John Fairfax and Sylvia Cook in 1971/2.

2.3 – Mid-Pacific

For those rowers who don’t like the idea of spending 10 months at sea in a boat, there is a way they can row the Pacific. It can also be the first stage of an island-hopping ocean passage (with stops). Those rows listed under Mid-Pacific rows also cover those who have stopped and continued, but not rowed all the way to the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

There are two routes, either from South America to one of the mid-ocean islands (e.g. Chile or Peru to French Polynesia) or from the United States of America mainland to the Hawaiian islands.

It is the route from California to Hawaii that the New Ocean Wave Great Pacific Race  follows.

Details of those who have rowed the Pacific East – West

Pacific Ocean E-W Solo crossings – Completed
*Historic rows completed without the aid of GPS, tracking, electronic watermakers, etc.

1* Anders Svedlund [1] Sweden Waka Moana Feb 27 1974 – Sep 06 1974 191 Huasco, Chile Papeete, Tahiti Mid Pacific
Papeete, Tahiti Apia, Samoa
2* Patrick Quesnel [2] USA Hawaiiki Jul 14 1976 – Nov 2 1976 111 La Push, WA, USA Hawaii, HA Mid Pacific
3* Peter Bird [3] UK Britannia II Oct 1 1980 – Oct 16 1980 16 San Francisco, CA, USA San Quintin, Baja California, Mexico Mid Pacific
Nov 11 1980 – Feb 25 1981 107  San Quintin, Baja California, Mexico Maui Island, HA
4 Peter Bird [4] UK Hele-on-Britannia Aug 23 1982 – Jun 14 1983 296 San Francisco, CA Great Barrier Reef  

33 miles off Australia

Pacific E-W
(no stops)
5 Mick Bird [5] USA Reach Aug 19 1997 – Oct 23 1997 65 Fort Bragg, CA Kona, Hawaii Pacific E-W
(with stops)
Jul 19 1998 – Sep 22 1998 66 Kona, Hawaii Majuro, Marshall Islands
May 18 1999 – Jun 23 1999 36 Majuro, Marshall Islands Malaita, Solomon Islands
Jul 8 1999 –
Aug 1 1999
24 Malaita, Solomon Islands Cairns, Australia
Total days at sea 191 Fort Bragg, CA Cairns, Australia
6 Jim Shekhdar [6] UK Le Shark Jun 29 2000 – Mar 30 2001 274 Ilo, Peru North Stradbroke Island, Australia Pacific E-W
(no stops)
7 Maud Fontenoy [7] France Oceor Jan 12 2005 – Mar 26 2005 72 Callao, Peru Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands Mid Pacific
8 Erden Eruc [8] Turkey Around-n-Over Jul 11 2007 – May 17 2008 312 Bodega Bay, CA New Guinea Pacific E-W
(no stops, plus extra to Australia)
Jan 15 2009 – Feb 4 2009 19 New Guinea Finsch Harbor, Papua New Guinea
Dec 7 2009 –
Jan 9 2010
32 Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea Thursday Island, Australia
Total days at sea 363 Bodega Bay, CA Thursday Island, Australia
9 Ralph Tuijn [9] Netherlands Zeeman Challenger Mar 14 2007 – Aug 25 2007 163 Callao, Peru Atafu Atoll, Tokelau Pacific E-W
(with stops)
Oct 19 2007 – Nov 27 2007 38 Atafu Atoll, Tokelau 132 miles off Fiji
Apr 27 2008 – Jul 16 2008 80 Port Denerau, Fiji New Britain, Papua New Guinea
Total days at sea 281 Callao, Peru New Britain, Papua New Guinea
10 Alex Bellini [10] Italy Rosa d’Atacama II Feb 21 2008 – Dec 13  2008 294 Callao, Peru The Coral Sea,
60 miles off Australia
Pacific E-W
(no stops)
11 Roz Savage [11] UK Brokade May 25 2008 – Sep 01 2008 99 San Francisco, CA Oahu, Hawaii Pacific E-W
(with stops)
May 24 2009 – Sep 6 2009 104 Waikiki, Hawaii Tarawa, Kiribati
Apr 18 2010 – Jun 3 2010 46 Tarawa, Kiribati Madang, Papua New Guinea
Total days at sea  249 San Francisco, CA Madang, Papua New Guinea
12 Serge Jandaud [12] France Clinique Pasteur Toulouse Jun 12 2010 – Nov 23 2010 163 Callao, Peru Wallis Island Mid Pacific
May 30 2011 – Jun 27 2011 28 Wallis Island Vanuatu
13 Fedor Konyukhov [17] Russia Touragoyak Dec 22 2013 – May 31 2014 160 Concon, Chilie Mooloobala, Australia Pacific E-W

(no stops)

14 Rob Eustace [18] UK 2 Hopes Jun 1st 2014 – Jul 24th 2014 52d 13h 17m San Francisco, CA, USA Hilo, Hawaii, USA Mid Pacific
15 John Beeden [21] UK Socks II June 1st 2015 – Dec 27th 2015 208d 21h 10m Horseshoe Bay, San Francisco, CA.  USA Cairns
Pacific E-W

(no stops)

Pacific Ocean E-W Double Completed
*Historic rows completed without the aid of GPS, tracking, electronic watermakers, etc.

1* John Fairfax and Sylvia Cook [13] UK Britannia II Apr 26 1971 – June 3 1971 39 San Francisco, CA Ensanada, Mexico Pacific E-W

(with stops)

June 17 1971 – Oct 6 1971 112 Ensanada Mexico Washington Island
Nov 12 1971 – Jan 9 1972 59 Washington Island Onotoa, Gilbert Islands
Towed for repairs following shipwreck Onotoa, Gilbert Islands Tarawa, Gilbert Islands
Feb 7 1972 –
Apr 22 1972
76 Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, Hayman Island (Australia)
Total days at sea  286 San Francisco, CA Hayman Island (Australia)
2 Curtis Saville and Kathleen Saville [14] USA Excalibur Pacific Jul 04 1984 –
Aug 3 1984
30 Callao, Peru Santa Cruz, Galapagos Pacific E-W

(with stops)

Aug 17 1984 – Oct 23 1984 67 Santa Cruz, Galapagos Ua Pou, Marquesas Islands
Mar 23 1985 – May 2 1985 40 Ua Pou, Marquesas Islands Pago Pago, American Samoa
May 30 1985 – Jun 27 1985 28 Pago Pago, American Samoa Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Jul 4 1985 –
Jul 31 1985
27 Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu Kings Beach, Australia
Total days at sea
Callao, Peru Kings Beach, Australia
3 Tara Remington Angela Madsen [15] New Zealand
Spirit of Orlando May 20th 2014 – Jul 20th 2014 60d 1h 36m + Long Beach, CA, USA Waikiki, HI, USA Mid Pacific
4 Sami Inkinen
Meredith Loring [16]
Roosevelt (Fat Chance Row) Jun 18th 2014 –Aug 2nd 2014 43d 3h 43m Monterey, CA, USA Waikiki, HI, USA Mid Pacific
5 Clement Héliot
Christophe Papillon [16]
France La Cignone
(CC4 Pacific)
Jun 9th 2014 – Aug 24th 2014 75d 9h 25m Monterey, CA, USA Waikiki, HI, USA Mid Pacific
6 Pat Hines
Liz Dycus [20]
Roosevelt (Ocean Hearts) June 4th 2016 – July 21st 2016 46d 17h 47m + Monterey, CA, USA Waikiki, HI, USA Mid Pacific
7 Erden Eruc
Louis Bird [20]
Yves (Sons of the Pacific) June 4th 2016 – July 29th 2016 50d 0h 42m Monterey, CA, USA Waikiki, HI, USA Mid Pacific
8 Rick Leach
Todd Bliss [20]
Row Aloha (Row Aloha) June 4th 2016 – July 30th 2016 55d 1h 24m Monterey, CA, USA Waikiki, HI, USA Mid Pacific
9 Megan Biging
Vicki Otmani [20]
Sedna (Fight the Kraken) June 4th 2016 – Aug

 1st 2016

57d 16h 9m Monterey, CA, USA Waikiki, HI, USA Mid Pacific



Pacific Ocean E-W Fours crossings – Completed

1 Craig Hackett
Casper Zafer
Andre Kiers
Junho Choi [16]
New Zealand
Danielle (Uniting Nations) Jun 9th 2014 – Jul 22rd 2014 43d 5h 30m Monterey, CA, USA Waikiki, HI, USA Mid Pacific
2 Phillip Cavanagh
Darren Taylor
Barry Hayes
Dan Kierath [16]


Patience (Battleborn) Jun 9th 2014 –Jul 24th 2014 45d 7h 24m Monterey, CA, USA Waikiki, HI, USA Mid Pacific
3 Nick Kempster
Mark Gleeson
Jack Carter
Chris Blacketer [16]




Isabel (NOMAN) Jun 11th 2014 –
Jul 29th 2014
48d 1h 28m Monterey, CA, USA Waikiki, HI, USA Mid Pacific
4 Duncan Tebb
Susannah Cass
Matt Lasky
John Wagner [16]
Limited Intelligence (Pacific Warriors) Jun 9th 2014 –Aug 5th 2014 57d 5h 45m Monterey, CA, USA Towed in from 75nm east of O’ahu, HI, USA to escape onset of Hurricane Iselle Mid Pacific
5 Emily Blagden
Ingrid Kvale
Amanda Challans
Aoife Ni Mhaoileon [16]
Black Oyster (Boatylicious) Jun 18th 2014 – Aug 7th 2014 50d 8h 14m Monterey, CA, USA Waikiki, HI, USA Mid Pacific
6 Emma Mitchell
Isabel Burnham *
Laura Penhaul
Natalia Cohen
Lizanne Van Vuuren **
Meg Dyos ***

* – Isabel Burnham rowed from San Francisco to Hawaii
** – Lizanne Van Vuuren replaced Isabel Burnham in Hawaii and rowed to Apia, Samoa.
*** – Meg Dyos replaced Lizanne Van Vuuren in Samoa and rowed to Australia [19]






Doris (Coxless Crew) April 20th 2015 – May 6th 2015 15 d 17 h 45m San Francisco, CA, USA Santa Barbara, CA, USA Pacific E-W
(with stops)
May 13th 2015 – July 20th 2015 68d 1h 30m Santa Barbara, CA, USA Waikiki, HI USA
July 29th 2015 – Nov 1st 2015 95d 20h 40m Waikiki, HI, USA Apia, Samoa
Nov 9th 2015 -Jan 24th 2015 75d 23h 30m Apia, Samoa Cairns, Australia
Total time at sea 279d 11h San Francisco, CA, USA Cairns, Australia
7 Cyril Derreumaux
Carlo Facchino
Fiann Paul

Thiago Silva [20]

Danielle (Uniting Nations) June 4th 2016 – July 14th 2016 39d 12h 20m Monterey, CA, USA Waikiki, HI, USA Mid-Pacific
8 Tim Spiteri
Brian Conville
Greg Vlasek
Tina Neill *

* Tina Nell was removed from the boat after 10 days due to a shoulder injury [20]

Isabel (Moana Uli) June 4th 2016 – July 22nd 2016 48d 2h 40m + Monterey, CA, USA Waikiki, HI, USA Mid-Pacific


List of references

[1]   Bengt Danielsson i Söderhavet – Bengt Danielsson – (1986)  
[6]   Bold Man of the Sea – Jim Shekhdar (2001) – Hodder and Stoughton (incorrectly claims to be the first man to row solo across the Pacific)
[8] (search for “The Pacific crossing has started”)
[10] Il Pacifico a remi – Alex Bellini – (2010) – Longanesi (in Italian)
[12] and,177395.html
[13] Oars across the Pacific – John Fairfax and Sylvia Cook – (1973) – W.W. Norton and co.
[14] Pacific Voyage Rowing: 10,000 Miles Across the South Pacific – Kathleen and Curtis Saville – (1987) – Aardvark publishing

NB: Where possible times taken are based on land to land. Those participating in a race where only the race time is taken are indicated by +. 

Data on the exact route taken by several of these completed crossings is available to download from the navigation section of the entrant zone of the New Ocean Wave website.

Comments are closed