Press Release 2009-11-26
Thursday 26th November 2009. Record setting adventurers return to the UK after epic 6,900 mile voyage across North Pacific Ocean by rowing boat.
Two British adventurers, Mick Dawson, 45, from Boston, Lincolnshire and Chris Martin, 28, from Chertsey, Surrey, set off from Choshi, Japan on Friday 8th May 2009 at 05:30 GMT. At 16:25 GMT Friday 13th November they crossed the finish line, under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, after 189 days, 10 hours and 55 minutes at sea, becoming the first Brits to row across the North Pacific Ocean, and the first ever to row from Japan to San Francisco.
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.
After a whirlwind tour of presentations and receptions in San Francisco, including one with the British Consol-General, Julian Evans, from the British Embassy, the pair are now returning to the UK, and their eagerly awaiting friends and family who have not seen them for well over 6 months. Mick and Chris will land at London’s Heathrow Airport, Terminal 3, at 11:05 GMT on Friday 27th November where it is expected that they will be met by a contingent of friends and family eager to congratulate them. For those that can’t make it to the airport but who still want to see the guys and speak to them about their adventure there is a gathering planned at Molesey Boat Club, Chris’s rowing club, on the Friday evening from 19.30. Please view the website for more information www.goldengateendeaour.com and go to www.moleseyboatclub.co.uk for directions. It is also anticipated that once Mick and Chris have had a chance to settle back into some kind of normality there will be a more official welcome home party to congratulate them properly.
‘We have just been blown away by the hospitality we have been shown whilst in San Francisco. There is no where better in the world to end an ocean row that’s for sure! We have made so many new friends and it has been wonderful spending time with them but there will be nothing like coming home.’
‘Our time in San Francisco has just been surreal, what we have done still hasn’t sunk in yet and I don’t think it will until we step foot back on UK soil. It has been amazing spending time in San Francisco but I am definitely ready to come home and can’t wait to see everyone!’
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.
Some high resolution photographs of the finish can be found on the website http://www.goldengateendeavour.com/?page_id=494 but for more information on the project including additional photographs, or if you would like to meet Mick and Chris at the Airport or Molesey Boat Club in the evening for interviews please contact:
+44 (0) 7545 285800
At 05:30 GMT on 8th May 2009 Chris Martin and Mick Dawson set off from Choshi in Japan to row 6,000 mile across the North Pacific Ocean to San Francisco with the aim of becoming the first ocean rowing boat ever to complete the feat. They finished at 16.25 GMT on Friday 13th November 2009 after 189 days, 10 hours and 55 minutes at sea.
The ocean rowing boat stands at 23ft long and is made from carbon and Kevlar making it not only exceptionally strong but also amazingly light, the perfect combination for a boat that will be moved by human power alone. In order to be unassisted, the boat will leave Japan with everything needed for the trip; this includes all food and supplies. Power for the water desalinator, communication and video systems is provided by batteries charged by solar panels. The vessel will also be fully kitted out with the most modern safety and emergency equipment.
No strangers to the world of ocean rowing both Mick and Chris have spent their fair share of time on ocean rowing boats. Mick first took to the sport in 2001 when he rowed across the Mid Atlantic from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean with his brother Steve in the Atlantic Rowing Race 2001. He then went on to complete his second Mid Atlantic crossing during the Atlantic Rowing Race 2005 with his rowing partner Andrew Morris. However, sandwiched between these two Atlantic crossings were two solo attempts to cross the North Pacific. The first in 2003 was aborted following major equipment failure forcing a premature return to Japan just two weeks into the voyage, the second in 2004 which ended 109 days, and 4,500 miles out of Japan, when a freak wave capsized and flooded the boat leaving Mick stranded and awaiting rescue on the upturned hull.
Chris started flat water rowing at school in 1993 and quickly learned that he had a talent for the sport. In 1997 he started his international career with the British Rowing Squad and by 2002 had won 6 gold medals in consecutive World Championships. However, not satisfied with his success in the world of competitive rowing, 2005 saw Chris take part in the Atlantic Rowing Race 2005 where he and his rowing boat ‘Pacific Pete’ successfully crossed the Mid Atlantic solo in just 68 days.
As if the row itself was not enough Mick and Chris have also set themselves the task of raising money for two charities, one based in the United Kingdom and one based in Nigera where Mick worked as a Professional Yacht Captain for Mr. Femi Otedola of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited who is also one of the major sponsors of the project. The first is the Hearts of Gold Children’s Hospice. Set up in 2003 this was the first children’s hospice and respite care facility in Nigeria offering essential respite support and palliative care to the increasing number of abandoned and orphaned children suffering from incurable illnesses. The second charity is Hamilton Lodge School for Deaf Children. The school has had a long standing relationship with Mick after they became involved with his last row. Hamilton Lodge School is a Non-Maintained Special School for deaf children with residential facilities, and is situated in Brighton, United Kingdom. They cater for pupils aged between 5 and 18 years old and have a Child Centred Approach to communication using English and BSL.
To find out more about these charities please visit the following websites