So how did our intrepid rowers first meet…?

Andrew and Mick arriving in English Harbour

Mick has a vast experience of ocean rowing and as a professional Skipper, he’s spent a lot of time at sea. He first rowed the Atlantic in 2001 with his brother Steve and then had a surprise opportunity when his path crossed Andrew’s in 2005.

Andrew’s first experience of ocean rowing (as well organizing the shipping of many boats) was in 2005 when he set out to row across the Atlantic from the Canaries to Antigua, to support the Whale and Dolphin Society. His boat was called One Life.

Unfortunately, after just one night at sea and while still finding his ‘sea legs’, Andrew slipped over and injured himself badly. The event support yacht was called to assist, and one of the crew onboard turned out to be Mick Dawson.

The yacht took Andrew and One Life back to La Gomera where Andrew recovered and found he was keen to complete his unfinished business with the ocean. Over a few ‘lemonade’s’ in the famous haunt of ocean rowers, the Blue Marlin, Andrew convinced Mick to join him. They renamed the boat Charmed Life and set off as a pair a few days later.

Andrew and Mick successfully crossed the ocean together, rowing into English Harbour after 61 days, 2 hours and 50 minutes at sea. Sharing the experience of rowing an ocean will make or break a friendship, but in this case the pair cemented what would become and enduring bond.

Their paths crossed again towards the end of Mick’s record breaking, 7,000 mile and 189 day row across the North Pacific with Chris Martin. Running desperately short of food onboard with just a few hundred miles to the finish, it was Andrew who organized the airdrop of emergency provisions that meant the team could continue.

Behind the scenes, one of the key factors that drives both men is proving that with hard work, determination and passion, you can achieve your dreams.  They are particularly keen to pass on this ethos to future generations and will be using their next venture, the OAR, to develop an education program for schools and a legacy in the form of a fleet of rowing boats targeted for use by able bodied and disabled young people from deprived areas.

Together Andrew and Mick make up a tried and tested team, with a huge amount of experience. Their friendship, knowledge of each other and what to expect when out on the ocean puts them in an ideal position to make this unique voyage a success.

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