HODL win the Pacific Row Trio Class 2023 - and set a World Record

Published 21 July 2023

Team HODL rowed 2,800 miles across the Pacific in 38 days, 16 hours and 19 minutes - and Burgess is hugely proud to have backed them all the way


Set a new World Record for three men to row across the Pacific

Placed 1st in Trio Class, 4th in Men's Class, 6th in All Boats

Rowed non-stop - two hours on, two hours off

Crossed the Pacific in 38 days, 16 hours and 19 minutes

Hurricane Calvin created huge swells to row through

The new World Record holders, Cutu Serruys, Luca Feser and Matt Siely are the three men who make up Team HODL, combatants in the World's Toughest Row, Pacific. HODL is short for Hold On for Dear Life, their mantra for the race - and life.

Luca descibes how their mantra gave them motivation on day eight of their race, when they were lagging behind. 'We realised that to win this race we had to do three things: 1. Sleep better than everyone else, 2. Eat better than everyone else, 3. Hold On for Dear Life and row harder than everyone else.

'So we did...' Digging deep they rowed their way through the fleet and into first place.

Their race started in Monterey, California USA on Monday 12 July. They rowed for 38 days non-stop to the finish line in Hanalei, Kaua'i Hawaii - arriving first in their class and sixth overall on Friday 21 July. 

The last days of the race have been impacted by Hurricane Calvin, adding heavy rain and huge swells to the challenge. Emotions onboard have rollercoastered as much as the weather, and Luca described the race as 'a mental endurance game'.

Although Matt suffered most from seasickness he says, 'flapjacks kept me going. This race is bonkers, I don't know why anyone does it! But WE did it.'

'We had our highs and lows and pulled together as a team' agrees Cutu, who found cold weather his biggest challenge to overcome. One thing they all laugh about is the flying fish that hit them out of nowhere during night rows - the three friends saw the funny side of it, saying it kept them from falling asleep at the oars.

Cutu, Luca and Matt crossed the Pacific in a 8.7m (28.5ft) boat, carried all their nutrition and supplies with them, desalinated their own drinking water and scrubbed the hull of their Rannock R45 vessel every week. This week it was Cutu's turn to do the hull scrub, and even he didn't need any persuading as the heat had become unbearable at times.

Their mission is to raise GBP 50,000 and awareness of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch for The Ocean Cleanup Charity, and Burgess is deeply proud to support their effort.

The World's Toughest Row, Pacific

How it adds up...

  • The Pacific Ocean is the World’s deepest ocean

  • The average crossing time for all crew sizes is 62 days

  • The word Pacific means ‘peaceful’

  • The first person to row the Pacific was Patrick Quesnel in 1976

  • The Pacific ocean shrinks by 2cm each year due to the movement of tectonic plates. This means that the Atlantic ocean increases by 2cm each year

  • 75 percent of the world’s volcanos are situated in the Pacific ocean basin which is called ‘The Ring of Fire’

  • The longest anyone has taken to row this route was Peter Bird who took 147 days

  • The fastest female team to row this route was Latitude 35 who completed the row in 34 days, 14 hours, 20 minutes

Learn how Burgess is working to protect our oceans. Get in touch.

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