Published on: 01 April 2011
Natracare Sister and British adventurer Sarah Outen set off today (1st April 2011) from London Bridge in her kayak to loop the globe under her own steam. Using a kayak, bicycle and rowing boat, Sarah’s ‘loop’ will see her cross three continents and row solo across the North Pacific and North Atlantic Ocean’s.
In 2009, at the age of 24, Sarah, from Rutland, became the first woman and youngest person to row solo across the Indian Ocean. She has been described by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, as ‘an adventurer and expeditioner second to none’.
Sarah’s dangerous journey is unique. Nobody has ever rowed this combination of oceans in a single journey around the globe, solo or otherwise. Only 2 men have ever rowed the North Pacific SOLO. Sarah will be the first woman to row solo across the North Pacific.
She set off at noon from Tower Bridge in her kayak Nelson, and paddled down the Thames with a Royal Navy escort befitting a true adventurer. Later she crosses the Channel, then cycles on her bike Hercules 7,800 miles in 22 weeks through France, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, China and then back into Russia.
Sarah will make the crossing to Japan via the remote island of Sakhalin, using Nelson and Hercules to paddle and cycle her way 1,000 miles to Japan. She will then row solo across 5,000 miles of the North Pacific in her tiny boat Gulliver, take up Hercules saddle again and cycle 3,000 miles from Vancouver to New York, then row solo home across 2,500 miles across the North Atlantic. Total estimated mileage travelled: 20,000.
Sarah will be carrying high tech equipment which will enable her to blog weekly from anywhere in the world and talk to schools around the globe.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes says of Sarah’s London2London expedition:
"Sarah Outen has already demonstrated her skill and determination in her record breaking row across the Indian Ocean. London to London via The World is a significantly greater challenge. She will face dangers on a daily basis which only the hardiest could tolerate. But I’m sure she will succeed and confirm that she is an adventurer and expeditioner second to none. We, in the Transglobe Expedition Trust are delighted to be among her supporters and wish her every success not only in the physical challenges but also in her admirable work with schools. Definitely mad. Definitely marvellous."
Her record breaking endeavour is expected to last 2 and a half years and, true to the idea of a continuous journey; she won’t be coming home in between legs.
Sarah says: ‘We’ve such a rich heritage of pioneers, mariners and ground breaking expeditions from the UK – so I’m proud to be flying the flag. It’s cool to be spreading the word that women do crazy expeditions too – there are a lot of beards in this field!’
Sarah says: “It’s stomach churning stuff and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared: I am full of adrenaline right now – 90% excitement, 10% nerves. The roads are the scary bits – there’s a real possibility of being knocked from the bike at any time, or squashed by a truck, so I need to stay focused. The oceans are something else entirely. I’m still scared of jumping in the ocean. On my Indian Ocean row there were times when I felt physically awful, I was hallucinating and more tired than I’ve ever been in my life. Capsizing within sight of Mauritius, with the boat rolling and rolling and me wondering if I’d die was a low point last time, but I can’t wait to get out on the sea again."