Monday, November 9, 2009

GGYC Welcomes World Record Rowers

On Lucky Friday, Nov. 13, the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) welcomed two very adventurous Brits into their home. At 08:25:25 on that morning, Mick Dawson and Chris Martin rowed under the Golden Gate Bridge marking the end of a 189 day journey from Choshi, Japan. Their journey was made in a 23-foot-long boat that these two incredible men rowed, yes ROWED, across the Pacific. This was the first ever unassisted and unescorted trans-pacific voyage in a rowing boat. Mont McMillen and Kevin Moon, both from GGY,C escorted Mick and Chris' families out under the bridge on Cygnet to watch this historic moment and were the official time keepers for the finishing moment. There were at least a dozen other boats, rowers and paddle boarders on the water and four helicopters in the air. It was quite a welcoming escort.

And it was quite a scene back on the docks. Well wishers lined up along the jetty and were along the beach as Mick and Chris rounded the corner to the last leg of their journey to the Golden Gate Yacht Club. Camera crews and photographers crowded the docks to capture the moment the boys finally touched ground after their six month journey. Mick & Chris's family and some close friends few in from the UK to greet them, rowers from the bay area anxiously awaited their chance to meet these new heroes in their sport, and GGYC club members were everywhere.

Commodore Young was the first to officially welcome Mick and Chris to land, with a champagne toast. British Consul General Julian Evans then welcomed them on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, and Mayor Gavin Newsom was there to welcome them on behalf of the city. After many hugs and congratulatory hand shakes down on the docks, Mick and Chris headed into our clubhouse where they were served the now famous first meal prepared by none other than the club General Manager Bob Mulhern. Steak, eggs over-easy, doughnuts and a pint of Guiness was their order.

On Sunday the celebration continued at a special brunch at the club. Mick and Chris were so thankful for the generous and hospitable welcome they received by the club that they presented Commodore Young with one of the oars they used to complete their journey. This was a very special weekend at the club.