Grit, strength and determination, the recipe for a record breaker

By Steve Brand | August 21, 2018



A long and arduous voyage

We’ve been closely following our recent visitors to Seahaven Training Academy, Steve Sparkes and Mick Dawson, who are currently rowing the Pacific Ocean from Monterey, California to Honolulu, Hawaii as contestants in the Great Pacific Race. As one might have expected, the voyage has been a tough one and even more incredibly impressive when one considers that ex-Royal Marine hero, Steve, lost his sight many years ago during selection for the Special Boat Service. We are incredibly proud to have had a hand in their training and will never forget the rewarding and enjoyable time we spent with them during the preparation for this record breaking attempt.

Sparky and Mick, on-board Bojangles, are now the only boat remaining, both men plugging away covering each difficult mile with a grim determination and an insatiable will to reach the finish line. Their only other companion aboard is their mascot, a soft toy named Rocky. Our intrepid duo have battled injury and choppy seas, but still they keep going, getting ever closer to their goal. Will Steve become the first blind man ever to row the Pacific? We truly hope so and will continue to report on progress and support them both in their epic undertaking. Watch this space.

Bravery encourages generosity

With around 433 miles to go on last report, and thanks to some very generous donations to their fundraising page over the past couple of days, the charity fund is now just a few hundred pounds away from reaching an amazing £10k. If everyone following the Cockleshell Endeavour Facebook page, and website, gave just £2 they would easily smash their fundraising target. See the details on how to donate at the foot of this article.

Almost home

Not too much has been heard from Sparky and Mick over the past couple of days. No doubt they have been digging deep, rowing hard to reach the finish line in Hawaii. There is speculation in certain quarters that their trusty mascot, Rocky, has taken on a life of his own, commandeered the boat and thrown them both overboard. Hope is that the former reason is explanation for the lack of communication, rather than the latter.

Just around 250 miles and a short number of days stands between Sparky and Mick and their goal, the beach in Hawaii. The tracker is showing they will arrive on Sunday, although this may be earlier or later depending on weather and sea conditions.

Please donate

All money raised will go to “Blind Veterans UK” and “The Royal Marines Charity”, two amazing charities who support current and former members of the armed forces.

To donate to these charities and support Mick and Sparky please visit the Cockleshell-Pacific fundrasing website.

Thank you in advance for anything you can contribute to these two very worthy causes in recognition of Sparky and Mick’s inspiring record breaking attempt.

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About The Author

Steve Brand
Managing Director

Steve is a highly experienced instructor with a long and impressive track record in safety-critical working environments. Training is much more than a job for him, it is a vocation and his dedication and care for his valued students is second to none.


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