Former Royal Marine from Boston succeeds in latest Pacific rowing challenge

Mick Dawson at the end of his latest Pacific rowing challenge, having crossed the ocean as part of a two-man team in 2009. Picture: Ellen Hoke
Mick Dawson at the end of his latest Pacific rowing challenge, having crossed the ocean as part of a two-man team in 2009. Picture: Ellen Hoke

A former Royal Marine from Boston is celebrating after rowing the Pacific in a gruelling 82 days and 2,400 mile challenge.

Mick Dawson accompanied another former Royal Marine, Steve Sparkes of Devon, who has become the first blind person to row the Pacific.

Mick Dawson celebrating after successfully completing his previous Pacific rowing challenge in 2009.

Mick Dawson celebrating after successfully completing his previous Pacific rowing challenge in 2009.

The intrepid pair started in Monterey, California, on June 7 and completed the row in Hawaii at 6.55pm last night.

During this time they have faced extreme weather which has delayed their progress, and they came face to face with the wrath of Category 5 Hurricane Lane just miles from the finish line.

While Mick is a very experienced ocean rower, with over 500 days spent rowing oceans, this time last year Steve Sparkes had never even stepped foot on a rowing boat.

In one terrifying incident Steve was swept overboard, saved only by the fact he was tethered to the boat all the time.

The pair were competing in the Great Pacific Race, known as the World’s Ultimate Endurance Race, to raise money for Blind Veterans UK, and also The Royal Marines Charity, a charity which supports former and current Royal Marines and their families. The pair have already raised £11500 for the charities, but would like to raise much more.

To donate to the charities visit www.cockleshell-pacific.com or here.

For the full story see next week’s Boston Standard.