Updated: Aug 1, 2019
Peakside Capital have taken the win in an amended ocean rowing route and the first NOMAN ocean rowing race from Ibiza - Palma, Majorca.
With the Mistral winds due to increase from Wednesday morning onwards for the western Mediterranean, crews were eager to take to the sea as quickly as possible.
Pushing out of Sant Eulalia des Riu marina and rowing out into the bay towards the start line the rowers seemed apprehensive but excited to be starting their adventure. A southerly breeze had picked up and whilst not directly behind the crews it would give them a little assistance after they passed through the first waypoint.
At 10.00 the horn sounded and the six teams with crew members from the UK, New Zealand, Austria and the Netherlands set off for the 70nm journey to the shores of Palma, Mallorca.
Peakside Capital in the Endurance boat were most spectator's top pick for the win before the off. With a wealth of experience of open water rowing and a shear physical presence that only mountains can aspire to the Dutch, Kiwi, UK combination lead the early start. Had they gone off too hard? With speeds exceeding 5 kt at times, the answer had to be "yes", but who among the following crews would be able to capitalise on this?
By the eastern edge of Ibiza the crews were still close with Peakside maintaining a slight lead and a vicious battle developing amongst the rest of the fleet.
On the open sea between Mallorca and Ibiza the sea state was confused with waves coming at the crews from the north and the south. The wind may have dropped off slightly but the crews were being thrown around a lot resulting in some sea sickness for some. Those crews who found their stomachs to be slightly less affected by the weather started to eek out a moderate advantage. The race started to split into 3 groups. Peakside in the lead, Corona, Monex Europe (Blow the Oars Off) and ION Energy battling it out for the silver and Courchevel Prestige Chalets and GS Gives (Team Brighton) snapping at their heels but suffering worst the ocean's motion.
The sunset was exceptionally beautiful but did herald the arrival of night and the dark which comes with it. In the darkness the crews experienced the blindfolded bucking bronco which some crews suggested the motion of the boat resembled. Unable to see the waves coming in, the crews extended their other senses to feel what the water was doing. Occasionally they got it right and stayed dry, occasionally they got it wrong as a wave splashed onto the deck. The darkness also compounded the seasickness for some as heeding the advice to "look at the horizon" doesn't work if you can't see it in the dark.
At 02.56 with just under 17 hours on the race clock Team Peakside powered across the line between the support boat Rozamar and the tower on the rocky outcrop: La Iletas to finish the NOMAN Ibiza - Palma in first place. Their total race time was 16 hours 56 minutes.
Less than two hours behind the winners the crews of ION Energy, Corona and Blow the Oars Off were locked in a real tussle which saw each crew select their quickest rowers in an attempt to "sprint for the line" in the final few miles.
Incredibly, just 41 minutes separated the next 3 teams who all crossed the line just as dawn was starting to break. When the spray had settled and the horn blasts had been counted it was ION Energy who stood victorious with a finish time of 18 hours 48 minutes just moments behind them was Corona in a time of 19 hours 4 minutes shortly followed by Blow the Oars Off in 19 hours and 29 minutes. The closest result we've seen in NOMAN history.
These three crews were then guided around the historic breakwater of Palma marina by the support yacht Rozamar who were all eager to get to the marina and stable ground to celebrate their successes with a spray of champagne.
Dawn had just broken and the daylight lifted the spirits of Team Brighton and Courchevel Prestige Chalets who had both demonstrated serious courage in continuing to push hard despite more than one of their number being cut down with sea sickness.
It was team Patience who emerged victorious from this tussle in a finish time of 21 hours 33 minutes and team Brighton only a shade behind with a finish time of 22 hours 26 minutes in this impressively close field.
We are immensely proud of our NOMEN for the courage and determination they have shown in a changing set of circumstances.
Thank you NOMEN for your commitment to help us end the 5% of cancers caused HPV.
1. Peakside Capital - 16h 56 minutes
2. ION Energy - 18h 48 minutes
3. Corona - 19h 4 minutes
4. Monex Europe (Blow the Oars Off) - 19h 29 minutes
5. Courchevel Prestige Chalets - 21h 33 minutes
6. GS Gives (Team Brighton) - 22h 26 minutes