Monday 20th February 2012
Leicester Square VUE Cinema, London
Tickets available on the door
Imagine throwing in your job and travelling around the world with your girlfriend and 8 month old baby. Mitch Stokes did that. Or rowing across the Pacific Ocean taking a route that nobody else had ever managed to complete. Chris Martin made it. Or howsabout a 30,000 mile circumnavigation of the planet, by wheelchair. Andy Campbell is about to set off on that one. What about spending much of your early twenties in the middle of an ocean, highlighting global environmental issues and become an expert on plastic pollution? Hello, Emily Penn.
Not many people have travelled the full length of the Amazon, less than ten, in fact. Mark Kalch is one of them. Have you ever rented a Fijian island and set up a tribe there, and then done the same on a beach in Sierra Leone? Ben Keene has. Or what about developing a sports car to drive the length of the Americas, but powering it purely by electricity? Alex Schey, Ladies and Gentleman. Second youngest person to the North Pole and the second fastest ever to make it there. Parker Liautaud, you’re only 17, slow down! Leader of the first female team of 5 to row the Atlantic, at the same time as campaigning against human trafficking. Julia Immonen is fresh back on dry land. And then, being told you have Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 36 and deciding that you’re going to deal with it by running 10 million metres. Meet Mr Alex Flynn.
Frankly, as the only world record-breaking skateboarder who would 100% break an arm if he attempted a go on a half pipe, I’m honoured to be presenting the 7th Night of Adventure on 20th February in Leicester Square’s VUE cinema. All in aid of Hope & Homes for Children, the speakers above will stand beneath an enormous screen and share their own personal take on adventure.
It’ll be an inspiring, funny and memorable night. We hope you can join us.
Every Tuesday Orla O’Muiri takes a close look at the UK’s Adventure Community and picks out a golden nugget of a story for this blog. This week five inspirational women and one huge ocean, all part of a Row for Freedom.
On the 7th of December, five women from across the globe set out to conquer an ocean.
The first all female crew are currently attempting to row the 3000 mile expanse across the Atlantic Ocean from the Canary Islands to Barbados, unaided.
Julia Immonen, Debbie Beadle, Helen Leigh, Kate Richardson and Katie Pattison-Hart were strangers, now they cradle each other’s lives in their hands; “Sometimes there is an element of fear,” Beadle admits, “but you get over it. We are doing this because we really believe in the strength of women.”
They trained six days a week, alternating between 24 hour rows, endurance and strength work to prepare for the reality of rowing two hours on, two hours off. “It is tough,” Beadle said, “We are tired, but our bodies are adapting to it.”
Their boat, “The Guardian” appears to be attempting to hinder their success; “We now have to hand-pump for twelve hours a day, use our feet to steer and ration our ever diminishing battery life.” Beadle said, “Then there is obviously the physical element of the row that is a challenge.” but these women are made of metal and will not bend under strain.
Aside from the boat, weather patterns will define their progress and ultimately their success. “December is just after hurricane season so it will be calmer and we can get the most benefit from the easterly trade winds and Atlantic currents,” Beadle said, “We expect to arrive in Barbados during its high season, where we will rest up for a week.”
From the outset it appears to be an adventure marked by mishaps and hard work but then Debbie described what she sees as she looks around her; “When I look around me right now, I can see the blue ocean, high waves, two of the girls are rowing and one pumping, the sun is beating down upon us. It is like a sauna.” Sights like this just cannot be replicated from an office desk or a couch.
They row in aid of two charities; ECPATUK and the A21 Campaign. Both charities work to raise awareness of human trafficking. The public can help support the women by following them on Facebook, Twitter or signing up and donating online on their website.
What is the best part though, I ask eagerly. The girls reply in unison; “The sky at night and seeing the ocean teeming with life.” But really the best part is the reason they row, they row for freedom.