The name 'Aurora' comes from the Latin word, meaning 'Dawn', so it was an easy choice of name for a challenge and a business, spearheaded by Dawn Wood.
Dawn is a commercially endorsed yachtmaster and an accredited instructor in many maritime disciplines such as RYA navigation, vhf radio, RADAR, advanced powerboat and yachtmaster to name just a few. She has worked commercially on the water for 20 years as a police boat skipper so is no stranger to working in extreme maritime environments.
Dawn first became involved in coastal rowing in 2014 when her home town of Burnham on Crouch set up a rowing club. Charlie Pitcher (Ocean rowing world record holder) is the president of the rowing club and founder of Rannoch Adventure. Charlie learnt about Dawn’s skills and asked her to help with an ocean rowing project in China.
“Dawn had all the skills I needed in a team member to help with this project. She is just amazing"
After being a part of this project Dawn began expanding her business 'AURORA SEA SCHOOL' to help more Ocean rowers achieve their goals with both on and off the water training.
Dawn quickly realised that she could not continue to work in the Ocean Rowing Industry without taking on an ocean herself.
'ROW AURORA SOLO ATLANTIC CHALLENGE' was born in April 2018 with a start date of January 2019 in mind.
By the 25th of February 2019 Dawn Wood was the proud owner of the title 'Ocean Rower' and a successful solo and unsupported independent row across the Atlantic ocean.
During the past few years Dawn has continued to develop her portfolio, training many ocean rowers and planning for the next big adventure.
The fight to protect our planet
Dawn has spent the last 33 years living in riverside and coastal towns and works as a professional police boat skipper. She knows first-hand the impact pollution has on our oceans and has a real passion to make an impact on the problem.
There is currently more than 8 million tonnes of plastics that have been discarded into our oceans. This plastic takes centuries to degrade so the more plastic we discard the worse the problem is going to get. A plastic water bottle can take 450 years to break down however some research suggests that plastic submerged in deep or cold water may never completely disappear. This could mean that by 2050, the plastic in the world's oceans will weigh more than all the fish, according to The Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
This problem affects every person and living creature on the planet as the discarded plastics will eventually end up in the food chain. Small particles of plastic cannot be distinguished by marine life and plankton from its normal food. As small creatures are eaten by larger ones, the poisoning of the food chain continues to get worse.
The survival of marine wildlife is itself at threat as every year a huge number of sea birds, fish life, whales and dolphins die from becoming entangled in plastic waste or eating so much plastic they become malnourished and die. It is estimated that 308,000 whales and dolphins die every year because they get tangled and drown.
Dawn has actively been raising awareness about this global problem by creating a high profile platform to spread her message. She has spoken in over 50 school across Essex during the last 12 months, encouraged others to reduce their single use plastics by setting up a plastic free campaign in her local town and generally tries to lead by example.
Dawns ethos is not to completely ban plastics, that would be impossible and in fact some plastics play an important part in the modern world. The idea is to reduce waste of any kind, try to be less of a throw away society and choose products that use less single use packaging in particular single use plastics.
"If everyone makes a small change, together we can make a huge difference"