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Seattle Climate Rower Almost Ready To Start Race Of A Lifetime

Ellen Hoke
Eliza Dawson, second from left, with her teammates in the Ripple Effect crew that will row from California to Hawaii in the Great Pacific Race this June.

Seattle Climate Rower Eliza Dawson is in California now, in the final phases of training for the Great Pacific Race.

She is rowing with three other women whom she only met upon arrival in Monterrey. They’re hoping to break a world record while raising awareness for climate change and plastic pollution.

Eliza Dawson’s team is called Ripple Effect. The course is 2,400 miles, “completely human powered by our determination,” Dawson writes on her fundraising website, all the way to Hawaii.

While training in Seattle, she said the world record for any crew is 39 days and they want to get as close to that time as they can.

“To do that, we’ll have to be rowing in two hour shifts, around the clock, for the entire duration of the trip. There’s two seats in the boat, so we’ll be taking turns in those positions, to that means constantly we’re going to be rowing or we're going to have a short break to sleep for about two hours, max,” Dawson said.

They also have to eat enough calories to keep them going and they’ll be updating several blogs along the way. There, fans can find information on the athletic challenge as well as the environmental issues they’re highlighting.

A Facebook live video shows a roll test drill they went through, to ensure they’ll stay safe in rough weather.

Their boat came through okay, although they didn’t stay completely dry inside their cabins. They start the race in less than a week.

A safety vessel will be nearby, but to beat the world record they're aiming for, they have to finish unassisted.  

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment for KNKX with an emphasis on climate justice, human health and food sovereignty. She enjoys reporting about how we will power our future while maintaining healthy cultures and livable cities. Story tips can be sent to