‘Sarah  – You are obviously certifiably bonkers. Thank God.’ Dawn French

Sarah Happy Socks portrait

Sarah Outen MBE (28) is a British adventurer, ocean rower, author and motivational speaker.  She is currently part way through her multi-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. 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 and fundraising for charities, encouraging people around the world to take on their own adventures and challenges. A biology graduate of Oxford University, Sarah loves wildlife and supports a number of conservation organisations as well as youth and equal opportunities organisations. She writes a blog for the Independent as well as various articles about her expeditions. Her first book ‘A Dip in the Ocean’ was published in 2011.

In her own words:

I am Sarah Outen, a young(ish) adventurer at 2.8 decades old, hooked on life and wild places, and inspiring others to follow their own dreams.

One day I will be a teacher, be it in a classroom or not, but for now I am enjoying the opportunities to share my experiences and encourage other people to find and redefine their own boundaries.


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. I am preparing to set off eastwards once again by kayak in spring 2014, with my paddling team mate Justine Curgenven to kayak the Aleutian chain to the mainland. I shall then cycle to the East coast across the USA and Canada before rowing home across the North Atlantic in 2015. ETA at Tower Bridge is now Autumn 2015.

Sarah Outen: Awards & Achievements

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 Became a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society
2009 Winner of Best of Explorers’ Web 2009 Awards for Indian Ocean Row
2008 Completed the 125 mile endurance Devizes to Westminster Race (2nd Solo Female)
2007 Crewed with Geoff Holt’s Round Britain Sailing Challenge
2007 Sarah graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Biological Sciences

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