Ex-Royal Marine Mick into second month or latest rowing epic – but down to his last pair of oars

Mick Dawson, at the start of the race. Picture: Ellen Hoke
Mick Dawson, at the start of the race. Picture: Ellen Hoke

Ex-Royal Marine Mick Dawson is now more than a month into his latest intrepid rowing challenge.

Mick, 54, is attempting to help fellow ex-Royal Marine Steve Sparkes, 57, from Devon, become the first blind person to row the Pacific as competitors in the Great Pacific Race.

On Wednesday, June 6, the pair pushed off from Monterey, California, for Waikiki, Hawaii.

The going has been tough and Mick and Steve are now down to their final set of oars – the shortest pair, which Mick describes as rowing in the lowest gear.

In addition, there has been an injury on board, with Steve falling and hurting his face and nose during a changeover of positions (one rows for two hours, while the other rests and then they swap).

“He is looking a bit sore but is okay,” a spokesman for the pair said.

In recent days, Mick and Steve are said to have reached warmer waters and found more favourable rowing conditions.

The venture is also raising money for Blind Veterans UK and The Royal Marine’s Charity.

You can donate at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Cockleshell-pacific

You can follow Mick and Steve’s progress on the Great Pacific Race website, but it is worth bearing in mind they are the only duo in the race – with the other two teams being made up of either three or four people.