Champions Chat - Fear Being a Misunderstood Friend

Champions and their families enjoyed hearing from guest speaker Mick Dawson at the Champions Chat in April, held at Hilton Brighton Metropole.

Ex Marine Mick’s chat was about fear, and how it can be a misunderstood friend. He told how he overcame fears that presented themselves along his two attempts at rowing the North Pacific; from Japan to San Francisco, solo. The first attempt in 2003 ended when his rudder was torn off, in severe weather, and he had to return to Japan. The second in 2004 was halted by a freak capsize that sank his boat after 109 days at sea and having rowed over 4,500 miles, two thirds of the way across the route.

Undeterred Mick built a new boat, ‘Bojangles’, specifically for the North Pacific. He invited friend and fellow ocean rower Chris Martin onto the project and the two of them went on to become the first ever crew to row successfully from Japan (Choshi) to The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. They completed the epic 7,000 mile voyage in an incredible 189 days 10 hours and 55 minutes.

We heard how Mick overcame encounters with killer whales, who ‘adopted’ him along his journey - something he explained he never thought he would experience. His brush with unidentified ‘sea serpents’ in the middle of the night surrounding his boat, just 18 inches above the water, with red eyes staring at him, hissing and swirling around the boat mesmerised us. From losing his radio signal and having no communication to being under the bows of large ships, Mick told how fear is just telling you you have a problem to deal with. He told how he’d prepared well, and all the things that got him through situations were those he had planned in advance.

You can read Mick’s story here.

Mick’s adventures have been turned into a book ‘Rowing the Pacific’ which can be purchased on Amazon.

At the end of the session, our Champions shared with Mick their Champion stories.

Thank you to Mick (in checked shirt), and Hilton Brighton Metropole!