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Vancouver women training body and mind to row to Hawaii 0

By Ben Bulmer, 24 hours Vancouver

Rebecca Berger and Leanne Zrum will row from California's Monterey Bay to Hawaii this June. (PHOTO COURTESY OF COASTAL CONTACTS)

Rebecca Berger and Leanne Zrum will row from California's Monterey Bay to Hawaii this June. (PHOTO COURTESY OF COASTAL CONTACTS)

Two Vancouverites plan on eating up to 7,000 calories a day, and rowing day and night in two-hour shifts, to fulfill their dream of becoming the first Canadian women to row to Hawaii.

On June 7, 2014, Rebecca Berger and Leanne Zrum will leave California’s Monterey Bay and row 2,100 nautical miles to Honolulu. The pair will compete against 14 other international crews in the first-ever Great Pacific Race.

The trip will take anywhere from 40 to 80 days depending on weather and technical difficulties. To prepare, the 41-year-old Berger and 43-year-old Zrum are spending each day in the gym and weekends training in their $70,000 boat.

They both have years of experience rowing, but Berger says the mental strain will be the biggest issue.

“We’re focusing a lot on our mental health and strength because that’s going to be the majority of the challenge,” she said.

Racers will not have support teams so they must carry all their own food, a water desalinator, communication and navigation equipment, solar panels and three sets of oars.

“As soon as you accept any kind of help from another boat you’re out of the race,” said Berger.

The pair will be raising money for the David Suzuki Foundation and hoping to create awareness of ocean health issues.

For more details, visit rowthepacific.ca.

 

 

 

 

 

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