‘Sarah – You are obviously certifiably bonkers. Thank God.’ Dawn French
Sarah Outen MBE (30) is a British adventurer, ocean rower, author and motivational speaker. In November 2015 she completed her 4.5 year expedition ‘London2London: Via the World’ – an attempt to row, cycle and kayak a continuous loop of the planet, starting and finishing at Tower Bridge, albeit with a few diversions and changes to the original plan. A Guinness World Record holder after her Indian Ocean row in 2009 between Australia and Mauritius, Sarah’s challenging expeditions are the hub of her storytelling. Her main goal is to share the positivity of the journeys, sharing stories, encouraging people to follow their own path, face challenges and live more adventurously. A biology graduate of Oxford University, Sarah loves wildlife and supports a number of conservation organisations as well as youth and equal opportunities organisations. Her first book ‘A Dip in the Ocean’ was published in 2011 and her second Dare to Do is due out in 2016.
In her own words:
I love adventure – the feeling of not quite knowing if or how you will make your destination, of pushing the limits and testing yourself against yourself and the elements. My love of the wild led me to a degree in Biology at the University of Oxford and in 2009 took me out to sea on the biggest adventure of my life, rowing solo across the Indian Ocean. It was this 4,000 nautical mile row from Australia to Mauritius that inspired me to go on to more journeys.
London2London: Via the World is born
It was out on the Indian Ocean that I yearned for more ocean time and started tracing routes across the green bits of the globe, too – I wanted to make a huge journey by land and sea that was very much rooted in my home country. London2London: Via the World was born.
I set off on 1st April 2011 from London’s Tower Bridge on my expedition to cycle, row and kayak a continuous loop of the world. 2012′s Pacific attempt was ended short by Tropical Storm Mawar, but after nine months of blood, sweat and tears, I relaunched from Japan once again in my boat Happy Socks. We aimed for Canada and paddled hard, but after four months of brutal weather Canada was untenable and so I hung a left and pointed for Alaska. I landed in Adak Island, one of the Aleutian chain on 23rd September 2013, after 150 days at sea.
In the spring of 2014 I returned to the Aleutian Islands with my kayaking partner Justine Curvengen and paddled 1,500 miles to mainland Alaska. I then jumped on my bike and cycled 5,000 miles across Alaska, Canada and the northern United States to Cape Cod. From there I rowed over 3600 miles of Atlantic Ocean before having to call for a pick up with Hurricane Joaquin due to cross my path in a matter of days. For the final leg of the journey I cycled and kayaked from Falmouth to London, paddling under Tower Bridge at midday on 3rd November 2015.
Sarah Outen: Awards & Achievements
2015 Finalist in BT Sport’s Action Woman of the Year Awards
2014 Invited to join GH Mumm’s Cordon Rouge Club of Adventurers
2014 Appointed Ambassador to Inspire +, youth sports charity
2013 First person to row Japan to Alaska (150 days at sea)
2013 No. 12 in the Independent on Sunday Pink List 2013
2013 Shortlisted Stonewall Awards (Sports Personality of the Year)
2012 Runner-up in the Women of the Future Awards (Arts, Media, Culture)
Appointed MBE (2011)
First woman to row solo across the Indian Ocean (2009)
Youngest person to row solo across the Indian Ocean (2009)
Youngest female to row solo across any ocean (2009)
2012 Appointed Vice President Leicester Rowing Club
2011 Appointed Vice Patron of Jubilee Sailing Trust
2011 Finalist for Travel Blog in UK Travel Press Awards
2011 Published first book: ‘A Dip In The Ocean: Rowing Solo Across the Indian’ (Summersdale)
2009 Solo row Across the Indian Ocean – first major expedition