As you know we’ve been having considerable problems with the boat we chartered for the trans-atlantic swim leg of the Global Triathlon. The boat was due to arrive in the US on 5 April 2012 ready for a departure on the 15th April 2012. I was physically and mentally prepared to swim the 8 hours a day for 4 to 6 months that the expedition would require. I had assembled a professional and dedicated crew to support me. We were good to go.
But over the past nine weeks instead of fighting the waves myself, the captain and crew have been fighting to make the boat seaworthy. We have had serious problems with almost every system on the boat. We’ve now missed the weather window in the year that would make a swim possible. Even if we were able to get the boat ready in the next month the swim would not be possible. We are now 7 weeks into hurricane season which would affect the first 1000miles and even using the best case scenario projections the last thousnad miles would be swum in October and November under the influence of the violent, seasonal north Atlantic depressions.
I cannot risk the safety of my crew or myself and therefore it is with a heavy heart that I have to delay the swim for a year.
I have two options now:
1) Delay. Continue training and preparing with the aim of starting of the trip until next April.
2) Do the bike and the run first and finish with the swim.
I’ve written a list of pros and cons for both of these and will take a week or so to decide which route to take. As always input would be welcomed on this issue. You can get in touch on twitter here, facebook here or in the comments section below.
I want to thank everyone for supporting me over the past few months. It has been massively appreciated.
We’ve now been in America for the past six weeks. Cancellations on delivery meant the Ice Maiden didn’t reach the States until 7 May. The mast was then damaged as it was loaded off the boat, causing further delays. This has put pressure to finish the swim leg before the end of the year, with hurricane season upon us and water temperatures that will drop considerably as summer moves into autumn.
However, we are in good spirits and confident that we will be swimming very soon.
Thanks for your continued support. Here are a couple of videos to share around to whet your appetite for what’s to come:
This weeks Thursday Thriller is loosely based around moving about on two wheels! I’ve done a fair bit of pedalling around covering 34 000miles in two years on two trips here and here but these videos highlight something else one is about supreme mindboggling control of body and bike, ones about a race and ones about motorbiking into back and beyond of Afghanistan.
Danny MacAskill. I don’t know how he does it. You don’t know how he does it. Simpley phenomenal. The stuff towards the end makes him almost certifiable!
Race Across the Sky. This is the story of Lance Armstrong, one of the greatest cyclists of all time, taking on the Leadville 100, one of the toughest cycling races of all time.
Warzone Roadtrip. This is a film about four mates heading out from Kabul up to the Wakhan Corridoor on cheap local bikes. No more needs to be said!
If you know of any other videos you think need the word spreading on them then please put them in the comments below or here on twitter.
Welcome to the second edition of Thursday Thrillers! This week I’m going to concentrate on surfing. I can’t surf but would love to try. I first became aware of surf videos in general when I cycled through Liberia.
Road to Harper in Southern Liberia.
I had loads of people suggest I watch Sliding Liberia (see below) a video about three surfers searching for waves in Liberia. I really loved the old school film style and with the natural elements present it can’t help but be a feast for the eyes. I now know there are hundreds of these vids but these are my favourites three because of the countries they’re in and one because they’re surfing in the Arctic!
This is Sliding Liberia. The film follows three surfers (Dan Malloy, Chris Del Moro, Crystal Thornburg) as they travel to Liberia a staggeringly beautiful country destroyed by decades of civil and guerilla war.
This is Gum for My Boat-Surfing in Bangladesh. The film follows professional surfer Kahana Kalama as he spends some time with the Bangladesh Surf Club. It’s amazing that in a country you associate more with poverty and floods you can find a club like this.
This Arctic Surf Film. I love this. Five surfers wanted to find a wave that hadn’t been surfed and headed up into the Arctic-brilliant!
If you can recommend any others then feel free to share it in the comments below or with me on twitter here.
On the Global Triathlon I’ve chosen to support four charities that help some of the poorest people on earth. One of the things that is key to me is to ensure that 100% of the money reaches the projects on the ground and that the aid is a hand up not a hand out.
The first charity I’m going to talk about in a series of blogs in WildHearts.
On my first expedition from London to Cape Town via the Middle East I raised money for a charity that I later found out spent a vast amount of the donated funds on administration, the money I donated to them was a drop in the ocean compared to the millions they were given by the UN and governments. This left a bitter taste in my mouth and made me commited to finding a charity with a simular ethos to my own. That charity is Wildhearts. They do phenomenal work both in the UK and internationally. The admin costs (staff, offices, electricity etc) are all paid for by Wild Day an online outdoors store. This allows all money raised to spent where it counts and where it’s needed. Their main international project is a microfinance bank in West Africa giving out small loans along with advice and help for small businesses. These loans are paid back over time and go on to start other small businesses.
WildHearts (registered charity SC037072) was founded by serial entrepreneur Mick Jackson, whose life was transformed by tragedy during a climbing expedition. In 2001 Mick made headline news when he turned back from his attempt to climb K2 to save the life of a dying Sherpa. He swore that if he made it home alive he would do everything in his power to make a difference. WildHearts is the fulfillment of that promise.
WildHearts is committed to launching companies that benefit humanity. We believe in helping those who wish to help themselves. We are dedicated to investing in the human spirit and generating wealth for those. Our vision is to inspire people to strive to be the best they can and to provide them with the necessary confidence, skills and local infrastructure to fulfill their potential.
On a domestic level WildHearts is dedicated to encouraging people, especially children, to adopt healthy, active lifestyles and to become fitter. We aim to help reverse the current trend that sees more and more people in the UK becoming obese and suffering from the associated physical and emotional problems this causes. We also strive to bring communities closer together and focus on projects and activities that encourage people to come together.
Internationally, WildHearts takes a unique approach to fighting global poverty by running microfinance trust groups. This gives some of the poorest people in the developing world a chance to help themselves, by giving them a hand up, not a hand out. Currently focused on West Africa, WildHearts lends small sums of money to people to start up their own mini-businesses, be that a simple market stall or sewing shop; anything that enables them to support their family with dignity. The power of microfinance rests in the sheer number of lives it can touch; the people who receive loans will soon begin to help their wider community by employing their friends and neighbours and by supporting other local businesses. What’s more, once they pay back their loan the funds will then be lent out to someone else. In this way, supporters of WildHearts can directly help to transform the lives of hundreds of people, through just one donation. Just imagine what a difference you could make…
This is a short video highlighting the charities work in Ghana-not sure you’ll find a bank meeting like this anywhere else in the world!
This is my first Follow Friday. I know I’ve stolen the idea from Twitter but I’m going to try and showcase one person a week who’s out on an expedition at the moment that you can follow either via twitter or their website.
Today is all about Johnny ‘Sticky’ Budden. Sticky is a professional Parkour Athlete or free runner. According to the oracle that is Wikipedia, “Parkour is the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one’s path by adapting one’s movements to the environment.” Basically is amazingly impressive combinations of running up walls, backflips of buildings, jumping through objects and basically defying the laws of gravity. Sticky has decided to do this from the northernmost tip of Britain, John O’Groats, to the spiritual home of Parkour, Paris. That’s over a thousand miles of free running. He’s doing this to raise money and awareness for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
This is the first of my weekly Thursday Thrillers blogs. I seem to find myself losing hours of my evening watching videos sent to me by e-mail or recommended on twitter so I’m going to filter the wheat from the chaff and try and put a few of my favourite photos and videos up each week to keep you amused/amazed/awake at work.
I’m going to to start this all off with three of the best extreme sports clips around. One from each of the fields of skydiving, skiing and white water rafting.
Sky diving. This is one of the all time base jumping greats Loic Jean-Albert introducing proximity flying, or as most people will see it, jumping off a cliff and narrowly avoiding suicide by flying ridiculously close to a massive unmovable mountain!
Skiing. This one really takes your breath away-skiing at speed, off a cliff?
White Water. This video has a slightly try hard soundtrack but some of the stuff they do is phenomenal!
I hope you enjoyed these-if you’ve got any recommendations then pop them in the comments section below or here on Twitter.
I realise that I’ve not been the best at updating this blog so now I’ve had to postpone the trip I’m going to commit myself to trying to keep this blog as interesting and varied as possible. To this end I’m now part of an adventurers blogging chain with Sarah Outen, Dave Cornthwaite, Mark Kalch and Tim Moss and they’ll be guest blogging on here from time to time. I’m also going to try and keep the site ticking over with three weekly specialist blogs:
Follow Friday-highlighting a different adventure/adventurer out there doing their stuff at the moment.
Thursday Thrillers-this will include videos and photos from all over the world that are keeping me entertained.
Training Tuesday-focusing on the various technical sides of this next trip from nutrition and logisitics to training and technique.
Please feel free to berate me if I fall behind on any of these!
Due to financial reasons I’ve had to postpone the Global Triathlon by 12months. This was always going to be a difficult time to try and source sponsorship for a big trip and I know that I am only one of many expeditions that have been delayed in the last year. It is still incredibly gutting to have to delay the start.
Physically I feel I’m in as good a condition as I can be and maintaining it for 12months is going to be tough. I have a great team in place fully committed to make this expedition a reality for May 2011. This year I’ll be focussing on some smaller swimming goals and working on increasing my experience of whatever the oceans may throw at me next year!
I’d like to thank all the people that continue to support me on this mammoth undertaking-it’s not something that I could achieve on my own and I feel lucky to have so many people around me willing to shoulder some of the burden.
It’s been a tough week getting used to the fact that I’m not going to get a chance at the Atlantic this year but I’m now confident that my chances of success will be even higher for the start next year.
A 22-year-old woman has become the youngest person to row across an ocean solo, two months and ten days after setting sail.
Ohio-born extreme athlete Katie Spotz set off from Senegal in West Africa in early January and stepped off her 24-foot high-tech rowboat in Guyana earlier this week.
Two coast guard vessels and a private helicopter kept watch over Katie as she inched into the record books – becoming the youngest person ever to complete an ocean row from one mainland to another and the first American man or woman to do so.
“At first when I told my parents they did not want to hear about it but warmed to the idea after I took the training courses and secured sponsors,” Katie told reporters.
“On the trip, I had bruises, rashes and blisters that made rowing very uncomfortable but there was nothing too serious.”
Her epic journey raised enough money to provide clean drinking water for 2,000 people in Africa for life.
In 2008, Spotz became the first person to swim the entire 325 mile length of the Allegheny River, which runs between New York state and Pennsylvania.
Looking to sponsor an extreme athlete? Dan Martin is attempting to swim the Atlantic in 2010.