Special Reports

Rowing team drops sea anchor to avoid being blown off course

The crew of the James Robert Hanssen dropped its sea anchor three times in 24 hours over the weekend to avoid being blown too far off course in their attempt to become the first Americans to row across the North Atlantic.

The team of University of Puget Sound graduates Jordan Hanssen, Dylan LeValley, Greg Spooner and Brad Vickers was 178 miles from the finish line at 8 p.m. Sunday. The team holds leads of 177 and 400 miles over the two other boats in the first Ocean Fours Race.

“I think the rest of the world is running out of air,” Spooner said. “All of it seems to be blowing our way at an unusually high velocity and continues to stifle progress.

“… All we need are a couple of short days of good wind.”

Today is the team’s 65th day at sea, putting it on pace to finish the 2,863-mile race Friday morning.