'It sucks': Broken wrist forces MN rowers to abandon Pacific Ocean trip


Two intrepid Minnesotans are heartbroken after a broken wrist forced them to abandon their attempt to row from California to Hawaii.

Ryan Foss and Erin Hammer, racing as the Endurance Limits USA team, were five days into what would have been a monthlong, 2,000-mile expedition on the Pacific Ocean when disaster struck.

A big wave capsized their boat, a post on their Facebook page says. But despite righting itself immediately, Hammer sustained a broken wrist that left her unable to carry on.

They penned a frustrated message to their followers, saying in part:

"It sucks. It really, really, REALLY sucks. Incredibly disappointing. You put so much time and effort into something. Training, planning, blood sweat and, seriously, tears. So many people are supporting and rooting for you. Family is worried about you. And then a wrist breaks. Seems so simple when you write it - You can't row with a broken wrist.

We want to yell swear words at the sky constantly right now. But really we probably just need a good cry. It's so emotional that it's hard to even verbalize everything that has happened."

While disappointed, the pair are taking solace in the fact they have managed to raise more than $150,000 for children's hospitals across the country.

It's not the first endurance test the pair have been involved in. According to the Endurance USA website they competed in a seven-day jungle race along the Amazon River in 2014.

Hammer's wrist 'mangled'

Foss graduated from Brainerd High School in 1992 and has a music degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Hammer, adopted from Korea at just eight-months-old, hails from Northern Minnesota which she says "fueled her thirst and desire for adventure."

The pair met while studying for MBAs at the Carlson School of Management.

Hammer will now need to see an orthopedic surgeon, such is the severity of her injury, with her wrist being described as "broken and mangled." They were evacuated out of their rowing boat via helicopter and she was then taken to a hospital in Santa Barbara, California.

As for their next step, the first job is recovering their boat.

"There is actually a real and shady black market business of scrapping boats that are lost at sea," they wrote. "So it's important that we get it back ASAP. Plans are being put in place for that."

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