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World's Toughest Row

World's Toughest Row

11 months ago

Let’s hear all about the World's Toughest Row from USA VP Steven Keats. The logistics almost became as much of a story of global entrepreneurship & innovation as the Row itself!

"On Monday, 14 rowboats departed from Monterey to Hanalei Bay, Kauai rowing more than 2800 miles/4500 km.

These boats didn’t just pop up at the slips of Monterey.

Kestrel ( UK/ USA based ) was chosen by the organizers because of our previous involvement in shipping from / to the USA to the Canary Islands for the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

Planning logistics started last November working with Oliver James of Rannoch.

Getting boats from Southampton to Monterey was like playing Yahtzee for Logistics.

Darren Gilbey in the UK office worked with the hauler and depot while dealing with the ocean carrier.

It was hoped the fleet could move on Wilhemsen Roro vessels to Port Hueneme with the fastest transit. Unfortunately, we could not get any space off of their Trade.

The backup used Hapag Lloyd’s AL5 container service to Oakland. Hapag Lloyd was very helpful establishing a special discount and allocation. Thanks to June Letto, Carmen Reyes and Sarah Hill for their actions with pricing and planners.

HL’s transit was ~44 days, and we got the boats underway in early March. Except, the last container including the life rafts ( with CO2 gas cartridges) was rolled several times by the vessel owner’s planners.

Following news reports that the ILWU might take labor action in May or June; we couldn’t accept that risk. There is a time when instinct says do this instead of that. So we decided on a different route.

Thanks to Peter Andrews of Ellerman City Liners, the last rowboat was carried to New York and we arranged trans-continental towing through Carson Meeks and James Fontes of Grand Alliance Transportation.

Lo and behold, the port slow downs materialized; the intended Hapag vessel to Oakland was delayed.

Mark Davidian in our West Coast office coordinated reception in Oakland and delivery to Monterey. Mark is also supervising the pacific transport needs.

Jag Thiara of Cargo Bay picked up the containers and stored the boats in San Leandro.

Finally the boats were delivered to the Monterey Marina by Brandon Clarke of NCR Roadside Service with plenty of buffer for the teams to prepare for their journeys.

The boats will arrive to Hanalei in July and August where they will be hauled out at the Canoe Club and prepped for container transport with Pasha Hawaii back to the Mainland and UK. Thanks to Michael Pasha for cooperating with his services.

Marney Kaleleiki of Honolulu Freight Service and Aloha Isle Moving will handle logistics in Kauai.

I mention names because without their consideration the race would not be possible. Logistics is movement by people."