The Pacific Discovery crew members Cameron Parker, left, Tia Patricios, Stuart Thompson, and Andrei “Celo” Celovschi.| Photo: Polly Pelly

Pacific Discovery’s trans-Pacific race crew will be crossing an ocean — literally.

June 12th marked the beginning of their rowing race from Monterey, California to Hanalei Bay, Hawaii. The race is a trying 40-day epic that spans 2,800 miles — a venture that only 82 others have accomplished. While endeavoring the Pacific, members of the crew will be sustained through nutrition bars created by the Santa Barbara-based business,, in a partnership that might just become a part of rowing history.

What began as founder of the company, Ivan Pelly’s personal experiment in his kitchen, in which he describes, “I was wanting a replacement for typical grocery-store bars. My background as an engineer came in handy in working through the process of creating and testing something from scratch… It found its way into the hands of friends and family, and I got a lot of requests either to make bars, or to share the recipe. These requests were the inspiration for taking the product from a homemade item to a commercial product,” has quickly transformed into a flourishing global business, characterized by Pelly’s close-knit relationship with his customers, and an array of the brand’s partnerships with both extreme and conventional sports, charities, and initiatives such as Engineers Without Borders, the Environmental Defense Council, and PATH.

Ivan Pelly | Photo: Polly Pelly

The unique nature in which Pelly’s partnership with the trans-Pacific race crew was born began when crew-member Andrei “Celo” Celovschi reached out to through a

mutual friend. In an interesting twist of fate, this mutual friend was former rower Sophia Denison-Johnston, a Santa Barbara resident and coincidentally, a member of the Latitude 35 team that broke the women’s record for crossing the Pacific, from San Francisco to Waikiki, in 2022.

“Through a series of serendipitous events, Sophia became aware of, and shared her positive experience with Celo,” said Pelly. “Celo reached out, describing the event and asking if we’d like to partner, and of course the answer was, ‘yes!’’ Through this partnership,’s products have joined crew members on their voyage, and, he said, “More importantly, I’d say that we’ve become great friends with the wonderful crew along the way, and I’m hopeful the friendship will continue long after the race is over.”

In terms of the product itself, Pelly’s vegan and gluten-free bars embody a fusion of delectable flavor with ample health benefits. In the future, Pelly has big plans to annually launch a new bar flavor, and has “made a commitment, once we reach a particular sales goal, to donate profits to selected charities.”

Pelly’s adventurous and entrepreneurial spirit can be captured in his thoughts describing the essence of the race, in which he muses, “Why is the Pacific Discovery gearing up to tackle the Pacific? Because, in the words of British climber George Mallory, ‘because it’s there.’ The mental and physical effort required to not only train for, but complete the adventure, provides a profound level of accomplishment, a lifetime bonding experience with crewmates and supporters, and an inspiration for those who might tackle the next big adventure.”

The boats are ready to race | Photo: Courtesy

To watch the groundbreaking race, observers can download the YB Races app to track the progress of the teams in near-real time. To taste Pelly’s nutrition bars and become a part of the race yourself, the discount code INDY23 is redeemable for Independent readers at


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