From California to Hawaii in Two Months

Our rowing starts from California (specifically either from San Francisco or Monterrey) in June 2014 and ends in Honolulu, Hawaii. If we get lucky with the weather and keep enjoying the pain, we should finish in two months. The total straight-line distance is 2400 miles, but due to currents and winds and our DIY navigation, we will likely end up rowing much more. Our row is completely unsupported, meaning we will not receive any outside assistance and have to carry all our gear, food and drinks on board. Needless to say, no sails are allowed!
Our row will be officially timed, since we are also participating in the inaugural Great Pacific Race. Regardless, it is unlikely that we will see any other boats during the two month crossing. We are are excited to be the only California team in the race and believe that the professional race organization provides and extra layer of safety.

World Record Attempt

We are rowing as a mixed pair and are hoping to break the following world records:
1. Fastest Pacific Ocean crossing for pairs and mixed pairs.
2. First mixed pair to row across the Pacific from California to Hawaii.
3. First Finnish person to ever row an Ocean.  (that's something!)

Twelve people in total and two heroic man-woman pairs have completed a Pacific rowing crossing before us: John Fairfax & Sylvia Cook in the 1970s and Curt & Kathleen Saville across the Southern Pacific in the 1980s. You might think we are a little crazy, but imagine the dangers and challenges of crossing an ocean in a 1970s rowing boat. You couldn't even tweet or blog from the middle of the ocean!

Training: Lots of Pain, Lots of Gain

Given our limited ocean and any kind of rowing experience, we are focused on four key elements in our training:

1. Rowing conditioning and technique: We row at least three times a week, with a combination of long rows and high-intensity intervals. A typical week includes:

  • Tempo effort below anaerobic threshold 20-30min (1hr total)
  • High intensity intervals 15 x 1min at max effort (1hr total)
  • Long and slow row at 'all day speed' for 2-8 hours. In addition, we will do several over-night training sessions in our ocean rowing boat.
  • Plus: our other running, cycling, swimming and XC skiing training to keep our dry-land legs alive.

2. Strength: We believe that proper functional strength training reduces our injury risk and increases our rowing power. We are lifting weights twice a week with focus on deadlifts, squats, pullups, dips and functional core strength. Meredith is already up to 21 non-stop bodyweight dips, which is more than most men will ever get to!

3. Ocean safety, survival and navigation training: We have taken several safety, survival and navigation courses with the U.S. Coast Guard and International Sailing Federation. 

4. Operating and living on the boat: We will simulate our actual expedition with several 24hr overnight weekend rows on the open ocean. We've also practiced solving tough situations under pressure (that is, we've been married for almost four years!).

Our Ocean Rowing Boat:  Roosevelt


Made out of carbon fibre, our 6m x 1.5m boat is specifically built for ocean rowing. We've named her Roosevelt, inspired by the adventurous life of the 26th U.S. President and his many expeditions.
On one end of the boat, we will have a water-tight cabin, where one of us can take a nap, when the other one continues rowing. We have two rowing positions, although most of the time only one of us will be sweating in the oars. She has been designed to handle the roughest of the conditions and self-right in case we get capsized.

The boat in the picture is in her "naked" condition before we finish the war paint and stickers from our supporters.

  • Solar panels to produce up to 200 Watts
  • De-salinator to produce drinking water
  • VHF radio, satellite phone and signal mirror 
  • Music players for 1,000hrs of audio books
  • Auto-helm and GPS to reduce our cognitive load
  • Life-raft and survival suits
  • 5 pairs of ocean rowing oars (they break!)
  • Active radar reflectors so ships could see us
  • About 1,000,000 Kcal of food on board
  • First aid kit loaded with sea-sickness tablets
  • Buckets for emergencies

Our No-Sugar Low-Carb Diet for 10,000Kcal per day


A typical American diet is carb heavy and the energy split between the macronutrients as follows:

  • 50% carbohydrates
  • 15% protein
  • 35% fat

In contrast, in our day-to-day and expedition diet, almost all sugar and all processed carbohydrates have been eliminated. Our energy sources are primarily fat and protein:

  • 10% carbohydrates or less
  • 20% protein
  • 70% fat

You will not find any processed carbohydrates, soda, sports drinks, gels or sports bars from our boat. All of our food come from real, whole food sources.

We've estimated our total metabolic cost with 12h of rowing per day per rower to be:

  • 5,000kcal / day for Meredith
  • 9,000kcal / day for Sami

That means we'll both be eating a lot. A lot of fat and a considerable amount of protein. Unfortunately we are unable to share the exact details of what we will eat (consider that our competitive advantage!), as there aren't many packaged, long shelf life options available, but major food sources will include:

  • Beef and lard
  • Salmon
  • Coconut butter
  • Dehydrated vegetables
  • Dark, sugar-free chocolate
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Mix of nuts, seeds, proteins, fruits

You can find a bit more details here.


Please contact us if you're interested in joining a group of brands and other corporate partners, who support our expedition. We will publish our corporate supporters after our launch.
If you want to join our fight against sugar and processed foods, please donate (of which 100% goes to charity).