Press Release 2009-11-12
Thursday 12th November 2009. Two British Adventurers to finish epic row under The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco at 08:00 PST (16:00 GMT) Friday 13th November.
Two Brits, Mick Dawson, from Boston, Lincolnshire, and Chris Martin from Chertsey, Surrey, who set out from Choshi, Japan on Friday 8th May 2009 will tomorrow conclude their epic row of over 5,000 miles across the North Pacific Ocean. The pair have spent 189 days, more than 6 months, at sea in their 23ft ocean rowing boat ‘Bojangles’ and due to varying wind and currents their course has been in excess of 6930 miles.
During this time they have faced 60ft waves, and early on in their voyage nearly capsized, they have dealt with numerous electrical and mechanical problems, including an onboard fire and had to contend with extreme heat and bitter cold all whist rowing in shifts of 2 hours on and 2 hours off 24 hours a day.
In all this has been the most challenging experience of their lives. However, tomorrow’s sunrise brings new joy as they make their way towards the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and back into the arms of their friends and family for the first time since leaving the UK in April.
Their current predicted time of arrival at the Golden Gate Bridge is at 08:00 PST (16:00 GMT) Friday 13th November. There will be a flotilla of boats out on the water to meet them including the Golden Gate Yacht Clubs Race Committee Boat (who will act as the Official Time Keeper for the record) and The Renegade, a local whale boat from Embarcadero Rowing Club. After officially completing the voyage when they reach the bridge, the crew will row a final 2 miles to the Golden Gate Yacht Club on the south shore of the bay, who will be hosting their arrival.
The Pair are expected to arrive at the Golden Gate Yacht Club around 09:00 local time (17:00 GMT) and will be met by the British Consul-General of San Francisco, Julian Evans, who will formally greet the crew on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, along with Marcus Young the Commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club. Mick and Chris will then spend time with their family, friends and supporters before having a much needed shower, a full medical check over and their favourite meal freshly prepared for them by the club (Steak and Eggs for Mick, and a Full English fry-up for Chris).
Despite spending in excess of 6 months at sea together in a confined space, the crew of ‘Bojangles’ are in great spirits. During their time at sea they’ve formed a tremendous bond as friends and crewmates, supporting each other through the low days, and experiencing together the unbelievable oceanic world that most of us can only ever dream of.
Of Chris Martin, Mick Dawson commented;
‘If I needed any further indication of the qualities of my superb rowing partner after this ‘epic’ (you’re going to hear that description a lot regarding this voyage) row the last 10 days have given them in spades. We’ve had weather forecasts that have changed as the weather is ‘want’ to do in this region on a daily basis. Giving us a sure fire finish one day, little chance of getting in the next. Mentally a pretty tough breakfast pill to swallow every day…. Especially when you don’t have breakfast, Chris has continued to deal with this as he has every set back and challenge along the way; with the occasional expletive naturally, a shrug and a laugh then getting down to business to sort whatever we need to do.’
Of Mick Dawson, Chris Martin commented;
‘A few days ago was a particularly low point for me. After a night of slogging along slowly being driven backwards in a current and a bitter wind the day really didn’t make it any better. Mick noticed quite how bad I was and ordered me to go to sleep until dinner. This I did, and woke to be forced back into the cabin to sleep until the next day dawn. Mick stayed outside on the oars, wind, and current slogging away and only requested hot drinks at regular intervals throughout the evening. Amazing. He eventually came inside to sleep around dawn. I have no idea how he found the strength both physically or mentally to pull out an amazing night on the oars like that when I was quite frankly in a right state, but he did. Get that man to the top of the new years honours list.’
They truly are amazing and inspirational individuals who deserve a heroic welcome into San Francisco worthy of their efforts to achieve a record first. They set out to prove that it was possible to cross the world’s toughest navigable ocean from the port of Choshi to the port of San Francisco. Tomorrow they will prove that tenacity, patience, and a little bit of good nature provided by ‘Mrs P’ can allow you to achieve what others only dare to dream of.
If you would like to come down to see the boys in tomorrow with their friends and family then please feel free. By boat you can join the flotilla at the Golden Gate Bridge at around 8:00 local time (16:00 GMT) or by land you can meet us at The Golden Gate Yacht Club at around 09:00 (17:00 GMT). We look forward to seeing you there.
The Golden Gate Endeavour is sponsored by Mr Femi Otedola of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd. (www.zenonpetroleumng.com), him! (www.him.uk.com) a research based consultancy (London) where Chris works as a project manager and by the New Fieldwork Agency (www.newfieldwork.com) based in Addlestone, Surrey.