Fernandina Beach-based Team Ohana completed its 2,800-mile journey Tuesday, rowing from Monterey, California, to Kauai, Hawaii to raise funds for K9s for Warriors and the Children’s Tumor Foundation.
The four-person crew consisting of Paul Lore of Fernandina Beach, Matt Steinlin of Jacksonville, Iris Noordzij of the Netherlands and Marina Hunziker of Switzerland entered the harbor in Kauai Tuesday after departing from California on June 13.
The team’s finish was streamed live on Facebook.
“I can’t be the only one who cried like a baby watching that live! You are all such an inspiration! Congratulations!!,” Libby Plescia wrote on Facebook.
“What a Beautiful Day! Sooo touched by the sheer strength of the mind as well as the body! Well Done,” said McGlencairn Bourbon in another post.
The group had been training in Fernandina Beach before departing for California.
Thus far, the Ohana team has raised $62,000 for their causes.
The inaugural Pacific Challenge started in Monterey Harbor in California and ended in Hanalei Bay in Hawaii. The Ohana team departed June 13 in their 24-foot boat Courageous. The inaugural Pacific Challenge included 14 teams participating from around the world.
“Four rowers, three countries, hundreds of communities and thousands of supporters working together for others …” Team Ohana said on its Facebook page. “Our goal is to raise $500,000 for each nonprofit to help ‘Find a Cure’ and to ‘Help End Veteran Suicide.’”
Lore had previously participated in the team FOAR from Home row that included three other Fernandina Beach veterans across the Atlantic that raised $912,000.
Of his new Ohana team, Lore told the Jacksonville Times-Union, “All of us were immediately connected by each other’s passion and leadership toward one another’s charity and our connection with the extreme sport of ocean rowing. Once we all completed the Atlantic crossing and all of us were back in our hometowns, we all stayed connected in conversation and started again to talk about the possibilities of crossing another ocean but this time with one another.”