Rowing crew sets world record for crossing Pacific Ocean between San Francisco and Hawaii

A four-man crew of rowers set a new world speed record for crossing the Pacific Ocean between San Francisco and Hawaii.

Crew leader Jason Caldwell of Danville said he was glad to be finished with the 2,400-mile feat, which the team completed on Wednesday in 30 days, beating the previous record by nine days. 

The 39-year-old leadership development coach has crossed the Atlantic twice, but this was his first bout with the Pacific. 

He described a harrowing ordeal. 

"You are sleep deprived, you are malnourished, dehydrated, you've got sores everywhere and stress fractured ribs," he recounted over video call from Waikiki. "Everyone got injuries and they are just getting worse and worse.  You are basically trying to hold on until your body gets to the finish line so that last week is really pushing it." 

His team, called Latitude 35, is one of three teams to compete in this year’s Great Pacific Race, which began in 2014 and has hosted four events. It starts at the Golden Gate and ends 2,400 miles across the sea in Honolulu. The boats launched May 30.

The crew now holds title to the world record for the fastest all-male crew of four to row the mid-Pacific route east to west in an open-class rowboat.

This story was reported from Oakland, Calif.