Breaking News From Team Attack Poverty

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June 11, 2018

Breaking News From Team Attack Poverty

Statement From Attack Poverty:

"'Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.' – Ryunosuke Satoro

Though the world around us can be fierce, we are never alone in our struggles. Mike Matson and Brian Krauskopf, our Guinness Book of World Record holders, embarked on a mission to show that with the support of a dedicated team, hard work, and faith, we can overcome the largest of obstacles and the deepest of depths. We just have to take it one row at a time.

Having previously crossed the Atlantic Ocean in record time, they both knew the challenges they faced. After the capsizing of their boat from up to 16-foot waves and near gale force conditions, Mike and Brian were rescued from surface of the Pacific Ocean on Sunday. Receiving much needed medical attention and weighing all options, the difficult decision was made to exit the Great Pacific Race. While this news comes as a disappointment to us all, especially Mike and Brian, it also reminds us that though we may falter, our strength lies in picking ourselves back up, relying on our faith and our team, and pressing on.

We pray for the speedy recovery of Mike Matson and we thank and congratulate the Team Attack Poverty row team in raising over $85,000 for Attack Poverty through their amazing efforts!"

Breaking News From The Great Pacific Race

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June 11, 2018

Breaking News From The Great Pacific Race

Statement from The Great Pacific Race:

"On Sunday, June 10th at 20:19 PDT the Great Pacific Race control office were called by Team Attack Poverty aboard the ocean row boat Anne, requesting a medical consultation. During the medical consultation it became clear that one of the two crew members, Mike Matson (33, Houston, TX), who had been outside rowing during a vessel capsize a day earlier was having difficulty breathing. One of the race’s Support Yachts, the Galen Diana, was approximately 10nm away from Anne and was immediately dispatched to her location.

The US Coast Guard Rescue Command Center at Alameda were notified of the situation and the vessel’s location 100nm due west of Pt. Conception. The US Coast Guard then took control of the rescue coordination and asked the HMM container vessel Hyundai Bangkok for assistance. The captain of the Hyundai Bangkok graciously responded and was first to arrive on scene around 21:40 PDT.

In near gale force conditions and with seas up to 16ft the captain of the Hyundai Bangkok came alongside the ocean row boat Anne and brought both Mike Matson and Brian Krauskopf (29, Houston, TX) aboard for swift medical assessment aboard the large stable vessel where helicopter evacuation could be more easily carried out if deemed necessary. The crew were confirmed as safely aboard the Hyundai Bangkok by 22:45 PDT.

Chris Martin, Race Director of the Great Pacific Race, said:

To have this very experienced crew drop out of the Great Pacific Race is both surprising and disappointing. This crew had shown great promise, ability and knowledge and showed a great sense of humor in their preparations prior to the race start. The safety of our crews is our primary importance and so when it was confirmed that Mike Matson was struggling to breath, the decision to abort their row and seek emergency medical attention was the only sensible course of action.

The weather has been particularly strong over the last few days and most other crews in the race have deployed their parachute anchor to prevent them capsizing and to ensure they don’t lose progress west that they have worked so hard to achieve earlier in the week.

We remain vigilant and alert to ensure the safety and success of the crews who remain in the Great Pacific Race and look forward to welcoming Mike and Brian back on land later today when the Hyundai Bangkok docks.

We have retired the crew from the race tracking unit but be aware that we know the position of Anne and will help the crew where possible in their aim to recover her in the coming days.

Matson and Krauskopf had previously successfully completed the Atlantic Rowing Race in 2017 in a time of 49 days, 14 hours and 4 minutes as a three person team together with crewmate David Alviar (Houston, TX)

The weather conditions on scene were windy with choppy seas: wind at around 28 – 32 knots from the North North West with waves of 12-16 feet.

Our thanks go out to the members of USCG RCC Alameda and the Captain and crew of the HMM Hyundai Bangkok for their swift actions in ensuring the safety of this crew.

Any further updates will be posted on the official website at"

June 9, 16:08

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June 9, 2018

We have been fighting a headwind for what feels like forever. We are averaging 1-1.5nm per hour in a Westerly direction. Most of this involves locking our rudder down at full starboard, deploying our daggerboard, and rowing with only the port oar. This has led to some pains in the upper shoulder blade and hip flexors from twisting to see where the waves are hitting (starboard bow quarter, so over our left shoulder when rowing). We can over power the wind enough to hit the waves head on (the safest way go over them), and have lucky to crest most at about 45.. Regardless we are still making headway, and the weather hints for better days come Monday. Fingers-crossed -Mike

June 8, 12:07

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June 8, 2018

Row is successfully underway.

Been pretty cold (especially in the evenings), but the winds have been worse. While they are helping to drive us south, we are fighting to the boat going west - it takes about 3 hours to get 1 minute of longitude.

The water is choppy, but slowing in intensity (a little more time between waves and significantly less white caps/breaking waves). Neither Brian nor Mike have any sea sickness, though. We managed to play the Star Spangled Banner when we were announced in the parade. The start line was frustrating as it was between an anchored buoy and a moving sailboat, but it appears we were lined up well enough to start. The 4-person boats took a quick jump on us (the 4-women boat has three spots to row in!), but we had a good start regardless. Been very cold so far - wind only makes it colder. We lost sight of land last night. Hopefully the next land we see will be a Hawaiian island!

Thanks to everyone for their love and support (and it appears the ‘stros are 2-0 since we’ve been at sea!) -Mike

8 Days Until Launch

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May 25, 2018

8 Days Until Launch

Another exciting day at the marina today outfitting Anne for her trans-pacific row!

We started at the boat around 8 am. While Brian started stowing Pop-Tarts, KIND bars, and Nutella into the hatches, I helped tow the ladies' boat (Ripple Effect, a Rannoch 45) out of the water. She was a heavy boat, and my poor little Jeep's clutch got a little warm on the way out (quite the smell). The Ripple Effect is an all-women four racing in a very fast boat - they include Brits and Americans on board. Once Ripple Effect (both the name of the Team and the boat) were back in the protected area, we all packed up to attend the race's Navigation Seminar.

The Nav seminar was pretty straight forward: stay north of these buoys, fight to stay headed west, and make a banana-shaped path to the islands. We shared some stories about some of the more "creative" paths teams have trialed in the past, as well as a story about how carrying a large magnet on board can affect your compass. (This story was prompted when I asked, "so, ummmm, what was going on in that boat?") At the end of the day, this crossing, much like the Atlantic, is pretty basic, and we are very lucky to have a trusted friend, Aaron, look over the final details of the route for us.

Following the meeting, we had only three surprise "uh-ohs!" for the day, a record low:

(1) Our foul-weather gear from Henri Lloyd (the race's outfitting sponsor) wouldn't make it to the states before launch date. Luckily, our new friends at Gill were able to help! They offered us a 40% discount and expedited shipping on their top-of-the-line offshore gear: the OS1. It has 4 layers of material, making it both waterproof and breathable - perfect for rowing through a storm (not that there will be any, of course - in case, Sami or Megan actually read these...)!

(2) Our stainless steel bolts were pinching our seat wheels and not allowing them to spin. Brian diagnosed the problem: the tapered heads were pinching the bearings, so we are ordering some pan head bolts that work great!

(3) There's something that Brian and I discussed last night that we agreed was important, and I need to buy online for the boat...but we cannot remember what it is. Still, we have no clue. This has been scratching at the back of our mind all day.

Also positive: we bought the last bit of our food today, we got our anemometer up and running, and we mounted Anne's rearview mirror mast with a US ensign and Texas Navy pennant. She is starting to look like Anne again. We also cut some PVC pipe to allow drainage under the liferaft and handle grips for our rudder line.

All-in-all, it was a good day. Tomorrow starts early with an 8 am doctor's appointment. 'Til then.

9 days Until Launch

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May 24, 2018

9 Days Until Launch

Whelp, the time has come upon us yet again – only single digits remain in our countdown to launch from land only to see blue water for over a month! From here on out, I am going to try my hardest to send a daily update as to Anne (our rowboat) and her crew, as we fight against the Pacific to raise awareness and funds for Attack Poverty.

First and foremost, it’s important to thank everyone who has helped us reach this point. We wouldn’t be able to do this without a massive support system back at home. We have many great financial supporters that our outlined on our website and logoed on Anne’s hull, and we are looking to get even more to help Attack Poverty’s mission! Additionally, there are dozens of individuals who have offered their experience and time, and (perhaps most importantly) so many who cheering from home and sending love and prayers for our journey. A special head nod to my amazing wife and kids for putting up with me as we face yet another ocean.

Today, Anne survived her first major sea trials: the inversion test. Done in duplicate (one for testing the boat, and one for testing the crew), essentially Anne is intentionally capsized to test her self-righting ability. While at sea, should we encounter poor seas, there is always a possibility for the boat to capsize (turn upside down). As a rule of thumb, the main cabin hatch is almost always shut while at sea, which traps enough air in the cabin to make a nice, buoyant bubble that will want to rise up if Anne’s upside down. Today, we tested that theory…

Anne has spent the early part of the week on her trailer as Brian and I focused on outfitting her (making sure we have all the critical equipment, tools, spares, food, etc. for a successful crossing). We removed Anne’s anemometer (our wind monitor) to make sure she wouldn’t rip off from the test. For those curious as to why we didn’t test it with it installed, it’s not a critical piece of equipment to finish the row. It’s certainly nice to have, but we could finish the row after an inversion without it. Unfortunately, removing the anemometer damaged the cable, but we found a replacement and are good to go!

We Gorilla-Taped the hole for the cable, and towed the trailer over to the boat ramp to launch Anne. Brian directed me on the oars to the crane (we had no rudder in, so steered by oars), and ran two tow straps under the hull that connected to the crane. Then: they raised the crane. Anne flipped upside down, and in less than 10 seconds (which seems like an eternity) instantly bounced right back up. We checked for water, deemed it a successful test, and jumped inside ourselves. I threw on a rugby helmet, Brian threw on a thick wool cap, and we held on tight. Brian accuses me of giving him the “motherly seatbelt arm” as we rolled. It was much faster with us in the boat (500 more pounds of ballast!), and it was quite a wild ride.

For the record: the water’s chilly, but not unbearable.

Now, Anne’s back on her trailer, and Brian and I will finish her outfitting (installing our anemometer and rearview mirror, waxing the hull, and mounting our oars, etc.) through this weekend when we will start rowing her.