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Former Marines to row 2,400 across Pacific


Mick Dawson and Steve Sparkes

TWO former Royal Marines are planning to row the Pacific.

Experienced ocean rower, former Royal Marine and Falklands veteran Mick Dawson, of Brighton will be escorting fellow Marine Steve Sparkes in his attempt to be the first blind man to cross the ocean by rowing boat.

The epic 2,400 mile adventure which will see them row from Monterey, California, to Hawaii, competing against other teams from around the world.

The pair will set sail on June 2 and expect to take between 50 and 90 days to complete their journey. Throughout the challenge Steve and Mick will take it in turns to row the boat in a pattern of two hours rowing, two hours resting.

Mick, who made the trip in the same boat Bojangles, in 2009, with partner Chris Martin remains the only person to have ever successfully rowed the route.

Mick said: “I am really excited to be competing in the Great Pacific Race alongside Steve and helping achieve a global first; becoming the first blind person to row the Pacific. It’s good to be reunited with “Bo” too, the boat that I used to first row the Pacific in 2009. I have no doubt that we will overcome all the challenges that lay ahead and will achieve our aim of rowing unaided across the Pacific.”

Steve, who lives in Devon and was supported by Ovingdean based St Dunstans after being discharged from the Marines after losing his sight said: “I am incredibly pleased to officially announce our entry in the Great Pacific Race 2018, and I’m excited to be the first blind person to ever take on this epic adventure.

“I am determined to show that disability of any sort doesn’t need to hold you back, and I am confident that with my determination and Mick’s vast experience of ocean rowing will result in a very successful crossing.”

Source: The Argus