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Page last updated at 13:00 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009
Rowing across the Pacific Ocean
Mick Dawson and Chris Martin
Mick Dawson and Chris Martin onboard Bojangles

Mick Dawson from Boston has completed his attempt to row 4,500 miles from Choshi in Japan to the finish under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Mick Dawson, a former Royal Marine has attempted the trip on two previous occasions.

The first in 2003 ended just two weeks into the trip due to equipment failure. The second attempt in 2004 was halted when a freak wave capsized his boat.

He was joined by Chris Martin, a former member of the British rowing squad.

For this attempt, Mick has overseen the building of the boat 'Bojangles', which has been specially designed for the purpose of crossing the North Pacific Ocean and is named after the Sammy Davis Jr song.

The boat is 23ft long and 6ft wide and is manufactured from lightweight Carbon-Kevlar material. The boat is one of the most advanced ocean rowing vessels ever made.
It was hoped that the pair would have enough supplies to make it to San Francisco unsupported, but after months at sea and several days of adverse weather and increasing fatigue the decision was made to resupply before their contingency ran out completely.

I don't expect my legs to work when I step on land.
Mick Dawson

After rationing food since August, and surviving for the previous few days on barely more than hot drinks and stale biscuits, this extraordinary resupply organised by Andrew Morris of Allseas Global and Trade Freight International, couldn't have been a more welcome sight for the crew on board.

Captain Mick Dawson commented:

"Our aim was to prove that rowing from Choshi, Japan to San Francisco, USA was a navigational route. Supported or unsupported makes no difference we have achieved what we set out to achieve and that is something that we are amazingly proud of. Every decision that we have made since leaving Japan has been based on the safety of the boat and crew, this was no exception. To have tried to make it in with insufficient supplies would have been foolish and the consequences could have not only put our safety at risk but also the safety of those who may have been called upon to provide emergency assistance. This was not an option that we were willing to consider."

The Charities

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 Nigeria where Mick worked as a Professional Yacht Captain. 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.

Mick and Chris completed their epic journey from Choshi in Japan to San Francisco on the 13 November 2009 at 16:00 GMT. They were greeted by their families and a flotilla of boats as they passed the finish line under the famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

In pictures: Golden Gate finish
16 Nov 09 |  People & Places

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