Most people are surprised to find out that most people who have rowed an ocean had no rowing experience before deciding to row an ocean.  The boats are far more stable and technique is less important than for crew boats which are much thinner.  Anyone can jump in one and row it, but those with better technique or who are stronger will make the boat go faster.  But rowing for days on end takes determination and the ability to look after yourself during your time on the water.

The training requirements for the Great Pacific Race are more than physical. Most of the race participants have not been to sea for an extended period of time before deciding to row the Pacific and so have a lot of theoretical and practical knowledge to gain before being ready to take on the ocean.

Of course there is a massive physical element to the challenge but the cadence is low and required much more endurance than strength.  Think of it more like a long walk than running a marathon.  Of course the fitter you are the faster you will go.

Sea Survival training for ocean rowers includes practical and theoretical elements (but the practical is more fun)

The sea survival course provides an excellent opportunity to learn practical survival techniques

Each member of each crew must complete the following courses:

  • VHF radio course – Correct use of the VHF radio.
  • First Aid – Entry level first aid to take care of knocks and bumps at sea.
  • Sea Survival – Detailed knowledge and practical competence in sea survival techniques and equipment.
  • Boat safety course – A basic boat safety course which also highlights California and America specific boating laws.
  • Boating skills – A practical course teaching the basics about boat handling and navigation.
  • Advanced navigation – A theoretical course covering advanced navigation techniques.
Advanced navigation course.

The advanced navigation course teaches you all you’ll need to know about weather, GPS and passage planning to get you to Hawaii as quickly as possible.

Of course the training doesn’t stop in the classroom and you’ll also need to complete a minimum of 48 hours of rowing in your boat before you can participate in the Great Pacific Race and we hope you’ll complete many more hours of training.  In addition to this many crews complete a tough physical training schedule to ensure they are in peak condition before setting out onto the ocean at the start of the race.

Rowing on an ergometer is one of the key forms of training.

Training on the rowing machine is ideal to help develop the most efficient technique and strengthen the muscles.

Next…find the answers to the most often asked questions about the Great Pacific Race.

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