The mission

About London2London: Via the World

The London2London: Via the World expedition is British adventurer Sarah Outen’s bid to loop the planet using a rowing boat, bike and kayak. Crossing oceans and deserts under her own power while talking to the world, it is a charity fundraising and storytelling mission as well as a massive adventure.

Starting in London under the iconic Tower Bridge in 2011, the journey has already brought thousands of people to the story from around the world. As of Autumn 2013, Sarah was just over ‘half way home’. ETA Tower Bridge, Autumn 2015. However, the biggest thing we have learned so far is that the journey is the reward and that the need to embrace change and adapt is key to the adventure.

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Sarah says:

“I love the challenge, the battles, the intimacy with nature and the perspective gained from travelling by human power. You are so close to the water, the landscape and wildlife.  I love the purity of knowing that when you are alone, the immediate responsibility lies on your shoulders and yours alone. I do have a team at home and at certain times some in-location support, but mostly it is just me. It’s a wonderful mix of excitement, fear and unknowns. 

Even though I journey solo for the most part, it is not just my journey. I love sharing my adventures, especially with children, and hope that it inspires them to look outwards to the world and learn; and to look inwards to themselves and their own dreams and goals. I am journeying for everyone I have met along the way too and for those who have helped me get this far.”

The story so far

“Sarah 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.” Sir Ranulph Fiennes

  • THE START LINE 2011: On 1st April, 2011, Sarah set off on her London2London expedition from London’s Tower Bridge and in her kayak, Nelson travelled down the Thames and across the English Channel to France. She was accompanied by sea-kayaking team-mate Justine Curgenven.
  • PEDALLING EAST : She then jumped on her bicycle, Hercules, and cycled over 10,000 miles through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, China and then back into Russia’s wild Far East.
  • A TRICKY CROSSING TO JAPAN: Sarah then used Nelson and Hercules to paddle and cycle her way over 1,000 miles to Japan via the remote island of Sakhalin. She was accompanied by renowned paddler Justine Curgenven for this leg.
  • NORTH PACIFIC ROW 2012: Chapter 1: On 13th May, 2012 Sarah set off on her record-breaking solo row the 4,500 miles from Japan to Canada across the mighty North Pacific.  But after 25 days at sea, Sarah and her boat, Gulliver were hit by Tropical Storm Mawar.  The damage Gulliver sustained as a result meant that it was not possible to continue the row and Sarah was rescued by the Japan Coast Guard.  Shortly afterwards she flew home to the UK.
  • RECOVERY & REBUILDING: The mental scars from Chapter 1 of the Pacific and its fallout took many months to heal. Sarah rebuilt her team and the project and returned to Japan in the spring of 2013.
  • NORTH PACIFIC ROW 2013: Sarah set out from Choshi, Japan in her boat Happy Socks  on April 27th, bound for Canada. Four months in and she wasn’t even half way, after so many weeks of stormy, contrary weather and impossible currents. With her team, Sarah decided to ‘turn left’ and made for Adak, in the Aleutian Islands, some 600 miles to the North. One month later, after 150 days alone on the water, Sarah stepped ashore in Alaska after what she describes as her most gruelling expedition yet. She returned home shortly afterwards and is now in the UK planning and training for the onwards leg of the L2L journey.
  • ALASKA 2014 and beyond:  In Spring 2014 Sarah will return to the Aleutian Islands with team mate Justine Curgenven to kayak through the archipelago to mainland Alaska.  From the first road in Homer, Sarah will jump on her bike Hercules to cycle through North America and Canada to the East Coast, before taking to the ocean once more to row solo across the Atlantic, home to the UK.  ETA London – Autumn 2015.

“When I first met her, I knew that Sarah was a very special person with fire in her belly. I wish her good luck for London2London: Via the World, I think it’s a fantastic project particularly working with young people to inspire them and to teach them all about her journeys.” Dame Ellen MacArthur

If you’d like to find out more about the expedition and to follow Sarah’s progress, have a look at the sections below for all you need to know:

Where’s Sarah

With Sarah’s Journey Tracker you can follow exactly where she is on her expedition.

Boats and Bike

London2London: Via the World is all about human power. Sarah’s travelling companions are Nelson and Krissy the kayaks, Hercules the bike and Happy Socks the rowing boat. Her original rowing boat, Gulliver, had to be left at sea in 2012. We are hoping he washes ashore somwhere, someday. Krissy is a three-piece kayak built especially for the Alaskan journey in 2014.

L2L in Numbers

Here you’ll find all the big numbers you could possibly want to know about the expedition.

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