BRITISH POND MAINTAINER SWAPS LITTLE FISH FOR BIG WHALES IN GREAT PACIFIC ROW

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Daryl Farmer Rowing 4 Reefs

ROWING 4 REEFS UPDATE 2

20 June 2014

BRITISH POND MAINTAINER SWOPS LITTLE FISH FOR BIG WHALES IN GREAT PACIFIC ROW

The Great Pacific Race, organised by legendary British rower Chris Martin, consists of 13 ocean rowing boats competing in solo, pairs and fours teams racing from California to Hawaii, a distance of 2,400 miles across the world’s most unforgiving and unpredictable ocean.

One of the competitors is 39 year old Brit, Daryl Farmer, whose normal occupation is maintaining ponds and aquaria in and around his home town of East Grinstead, Sussex, UK.

20 June 2014

BRITISH POND MAINTAINER SWOPS LITTLE FISH FOR BIG WHALES IN GREAT PACIFIC ROW

The Great Pacific Race, organised by legendary British rower Chris Martin, consists of 13 ocean rowing boats competing in solo, pairs and fours teams racing from California to Hawaii, a distance of 2,400 miles across the world’s most unforgiving and unpredictable ocean.

One of the competitors is 39 year old Brit, Daryl Farmer, whose normal occupation is maintaining ponds and aquaria in and around his home town of East Grinstead, Sussex, UK.

First time ocean rower Daryl has temporarily swopped working with small fish and is out in the big pond of the Pacific Ocean hoping for some close encounters with whales and sharks.

He is rowing solo in ‘Bojangles’ for team Rowing4Reefs to raise money for Earthrace ocean conservation and for Peter Andre’s Foundation for kidney cancer.

Although the official start was on 9 June, Daryl and six of the other rowing crews were forced to return to shore two days afterwards because high winds were making progress impossible.

As Daryl explained, “The decision was taken to accept a tow back to port to wait for a better weather window. Not the start I wanted but this is by no means over. Anyone following the tracker would have seen the pattern – row hard at night to get to a good position, rest on para anchor, and wake up exactly where I started from due to winds and a current running within the bay.

“With no break due for the next few days, this seemed like the right call. The positives are that Bo feels spot on, we will get some speed and power once we’re out there, we just need kinder winds to allow us to clear the bay.”

On Wednesday 18 June, a week after the original start, all the remaining crews including Rowing 4 Reefs, set off again on an official ‘second start’.

Latest reports from first time ocean rower Farmer say the winds are being kinder this time and he is doing well, rowing at a steady 1.3kn. He has even managed to grab a few hours sleep in the boat he is now referring to as ‘the washing machine’. He’s also reported that Bo has decided that getting ‘airborne at times’ is the way to get to Hawaii!

Pacific pollution
Great Pacific Race teams have already reported seeing not only whales and dolphins but also an increasing amount of plastic and other pollutants in the ocean. Throughout his row, Daryl will be helping by collecting water samples that will be analysed for the presence of microplastics by Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation.

Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic debris 5mm or smaller that are a huge source of contamination to marine ecosystems. Sources of microplastics include the plastic beads used in many body and facial scrubs and fibres produced from laundering materials made from synthetics.

Just getting to the start was a struggle for Farmer whose boat ‘Bojangles’ is already in the record books as the first and only rowing boat to successfully complete a crossing of the Pacific West to East with its crew of Mick Dawson and Chris Martin in 2009.

‘Bo’ was held up in US Customs until the day before the first start so there was no time to practice on the open ocean. Daryl described the journey from deciding to take on the challenge of the Great Pacific Race through to the start line as “feeling like a bungee jump, but the slowest bungee ever.”

He is facing the prospect of up to 90 days or more rowing day and night with short sleep breaks in-between. His only company, aside from the marine life he and the other competitors will be meeting en route, is ‘Wilson’, a football decorated with hand prints from Daryl’s partner, Sabine Grainger and her daughter Elli, inspired by the film ‘Castaway’!

Earthrace Conservation
The oceans cover over 70% of the earth’s surface and the scale of the problems and issues being faced by marine mammals and the habitats they live in are immense.

We raise funds for marine conservation projects that help protect marine habitats and wildlife. We use direct action and education to make change happen. Everyone at Earthrace is a volunteer and all money raised goes directly towards our work around the world.

About the Peter Andre Foundation
Launched in April 2013, with Cancer Research UK, the Peter Andre Foundation was established as a way for Peter and his family to remember his brother Andrew, who sadly died of cancer in late 2012.
• The Peter Andre Foundation aims to raise £500,000 every year to help fund Cancer Research UK’s ‘Cancer Awareness Roadshow’ which gets information about cancer out to people in their own communities
• Members of the public can come onboard and speak to Cancer Research UK’s trained cancer awareness nurses about helping them spot cancer early and reducing their risk of the disease
• Finding cancer early makes a real difference. Most deaths from cancer are caused by the disease spreading around the body. So if cancer is diagnosed early, before it’s had time to spread or grow too big, it’s nearly always easier to treat successfully.

About Cancer Research UK
• Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research
• The charity’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
• Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on every pound donated.
• Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates in the UK double in the last forty years.
• Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
• Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK’s vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

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