It’s not everyday you hear something that shocks you or makes you question if you actually heard it correctly. Well, imagine hearing that four Special Operations Veterans (one whose roots are here in Pensacola) will row across the Pacific Ocean from Monterrey Bay, California to Kauai, Hawaii in June of 2024. An excursion takes 63 days on average!
Yes, you read that correctly! The World’s Toughest Row – Pacific Race is a thrilling and demanding expedition that begins in June 2024 and spans 2,800 miles from Monterey, California, to Kauai, Hawaii. As you would expect, rowers participating in this extraordinary journey face daunting obstacles, including unpredictable weather patterns, formidable ocean currents, and the constant risk of exhaustion and physical strain.
The Courser Racing Team is made up of four rowers: Chris Farrington, whose roots are here in Pensacola, and three other Special Forces Veterans — Loren Bell, Blake Sufferling and Pete Glaeser.
Now, you might be asking “Why would anyone want to do that?” In true veteran fashion, the grueling undertaking extends beyond the race for these vets — it’s a commitment to continued service and to protecting our communities.
The chosen charity and partnered donor for The Courser Racing Team this year is The National Children’s Alliance (NCA). The NCA is powering a national movement to keep children safe. Their organization features the largest network of care centers supporting child abuse victims in the country.
While this year’s training and mission has only just begun, these guys have already been thinking about long term goals.
“Doing the race started as an idea a few months back and the team quickly started tackling tasks to try and make it a reality. So it’s still relatively new but things are moving at a great pace for us,” said Chris.
“The long term goal is to annually field a team of special operations guys transitioning out of the army to do the race so they can continue service in other ways, to our communities and youth. So every year Blake, Pete, and I will choose a team and guide them through picking a charity and get them to do this race.”
With Chris and Blake currently located in Nashville, Tennessee, Pete located in Texas and Loren overseas, the first time the team will actually train on one of the boats together will be late August, but that hasn’t stopped them from intensive training. An average weekly training day will include two hours on a rowing machine and two hours off for a total of 12 hours.
Think you have what it takes to out row these guys? Or want to meet and show your support for these brave, totally bad$$ individuals? You’re in luck. The team will be hosting a Courser Row Challenge here in Pensacola to help raise funds for the NCA and their incredible journey and you and a team of three friends can actually get a turn at racing them on row machines.
- Date: August 5, 2023
- Time: Competition Starts at noon
- Place: Perfect Plain Brewing Co.
- How it works: Your team will receive a 1 hour race slot with each member of your team rowing in 15 minute intervals. The team with the longest distance takes first place award. Each team member will receive a t-shirt and disounted drinks wristbands.
- Team Registration Link: https://stores.inksoft.com/courser_racing/shop/home
For more information and updates on the team and training, make sure you visit their website and give them a follow them on instagram at @courser.racing. For more information on the World’s Toughest Row and the life changing adventure they are about to embark on click here.
Stay tuned on the Local Pulse for more updates on next month’s event and row challenge — we can’t wait to follow along!