After 45 sleep-deprived days, Philip Cavanagh has become the first Irishman ever to row the Pacific

The Dubliner has travelled over 2,300 miles by sea.

Philip Cavanagh pictured prior to his journey.
Philip Cavanagh pictured prior to his journey.

DUBLINER PHILIP CAVANAGH has become the first-ever Irishman to successfully row over 2,300 miles across the Pacific Ocean, after he crossed the finish line in Honolulu, Hawaii as part of ‘Team Battleborn’ late last night (roughly 3pm local time).

In total, skipper Cavanagh and his three crewmates — Britain’s Darren Taylor and Barry Hayes, and Dan Kierath of Australia — have spent over 45 days at sea, since they began the race from Monterey, California.

Competing in aid of Irish Guide Dogs For The Blind among other charities, they finished second overall in the Great Pacific Race, and are one of the just eight teams from the original 13 that are expected to finish.

Cavanagh’s grueling journey encompassed a relentless schedule of rowing two hours on, two hours off, with more than two hours of sleep during these brief intervals strictly forbidden.

Moreover, the 27-year-old and his colleagues have completed the journey with no engines, no sails, just pure human strength.

The Bord Gáis worker from Palmerstown is due to return to Ireland next week, and is aiming to raise as much as €100,000 for charity.

Cavanagh spoke to at roughly the halfway point of his journey last month, explaining then that himself and the crew were in good spirits, despite having to deal with a number of significant obstacles.

“We’re kind of getting into a rhythm, which is fairly good, with our two-hour rows. The night shifts are still the hardest part of it. Trying to stay awake at the oars is really difficult at four o’clock in the morning, when you want to be having a cup of tea in your bed.

“But I think we’ve adapted fairly well. We nearly capsized one of the days and one of the lads was on deck, and his main priority was to make sure the shoes didn’t go overboard. So that’s the sort of thing we’ve [had to worry about].

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“We’re relatively calm. Everything that’s happened to us we’ve taken one step at a time. We had the 25 and 30-foot waves, but if we have them again, they wouldn’t seem as big. It’s just the first time [it happens], everything seems worse.”

As part of their trip, Philip Cavanagh and his teammates took part in a fundraising initiative for a number of charities, including Aware and Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. For more details on how to donate, please visit their website at

Videos of the team’s arrival can be viewed on the New Ocean Wave Facebook page.

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Paul Fennessy

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