Emily Blagden, Amanda Challans, Ingrid Kvale, and Aoide Ni Mhaoleoin will set off from Monterrey, CA, this week with the goal of becoming the first ever women’s foursome to row across the Pacific in the Great Pacific Race.
Not to be confused with a Sunday sail, this endeavor is a trying feat of human endurance and determination. To put the challenge into perspective, only five people have ever successfully rowed this route—all of them men.
Team Boatylicious is the only all-women’s team among the 15 competing in the Great Pacific Race this year.
It’s described as “the biggest, baddest, human endurance challenge on the planet,” and the route has the women traveling 2,400 miles from Monterey Bay, California to Honolulu, Hawaii.
They’ll be living aboard the Black Oyster, a specially designed 24-foot boat, and following a rigorous rowing schedule of two hours on, two hours off for 24 hours a day in order to finish within the anticipated 40 to 45 day timeframe. That translates to 12 hours of rowing per day, per woman.
Aside from sleep deprivation and physical exhaustion, they’ll be dealing with cramped living quarters and work-intensive practices to maintain sanitary conditions and stay hydrated. The Black Oyster lacks a shower or toilet, so the team will collect rainwater for weekly showers “as a treat,” while using a simple bucket as their toilet.
Plus, Team Boatylicious is aiming to raise more than $67,000 for three charities, including an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping the world’s poorest people gain access to safe water and sanitation. Click here to visit the women’s U.S. fundraising page.
“Although we will be surrounded by water, we will be entirely dependent upon our water maker to produce drinking water,” commented Team Boatylicious’ Emily Blagden. “We are in a much more fortunate position than the 748 million people across the world without access to clean water, and the 2.5 billion people without access to toilets. Women and children are the most affected by the water crisis, and we hope that our campaign draws attention to WaterAid’s involvement with marginalized communities worldwide.”
As if that weren’t enough to think about during this grueling race, all of the rowing crews including Team Boatylicious have been enlisted to gather the most ambitious set of ocean water samples to date for Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation’s marine microplastics unit.
“I’m a sucker for doing crazy challenges for good causes,” said Ingrid Kvale. “But rowing the Pacific is definitely the most ambitious and exciting challenge I have ever attempted.”
The four friends are expected to arrive in Honolulu about 40 days from their launch. You can track Team Boatylicious’ progress via GPS tracker on the Great Pacific race website and via the team’s personal blog.