One of the Last Great British Adventures…….
Ian has been serving in the Royal Air Force for 7 years. Born in Oswestry, Shropshire, he works as a Crewman on RAF Merlin Helicopters with 78 Sqn. Prior to joining the military, Ian travelled extensively for 12 years working as a professional kayaker, white water raft guide, climbing and mountaineering instructor. He also worked in the UK delivering outdoor education programmes for young people and disaffected youth, in particular for the Outward Bound Trust.
He has a wealth of experience of land and sea kayak expeditions and has completed many adventure races and endurance events. He has always had a taste for the obscure and unique challenges that the outdoors can offer. Ian says:
“It is becoming increasingly difficult to find new, direct and compelling journeys to complete, especially on home soil. The traditional routes to John O’ Groats have been done by dog walkers, by people in wheel chairs and on skate boards who want to make their claim to traversing their island in their way. Our route is as audacious and committing a route as is possible in the UK and serves as both a challenging expedition and a new way to complete this iconic journey.”
Nick is a Captain in the Royal Engineers. Whilst on foot patrol in Afghanistan in 2009 he was struck by an IED explosion and lost both his legs above the knee. He went from 6ft 7in to 4ft 11in, but still sees himself as fit, strong and determined to achieve his goals. He said:
“When your first get injured you go from the depths of despair, to euphoria that you are still alive, back to dreading the future again. I could use the fact I have no legs as an excuse to do nothing. Or I could use it as fuel to the fire, to spur me on to do more things in life.”
Physical activity and competitive sport have helped him through his rehabilitation, not only in fitness but also in giving him focus and direction in his life. In 2010 he started rowing because he wanted to do something completely new and to prove to himself that he could achieve something different in life after being injured.
Two years later he represented Great Britain in the London 2012 Paralympic Games in the Trunk and Arms Mixed Double Scull. Nick and his rowing partner, Sam Scowan, finished fourth in the final only 0.2 seconds outside of a medal.
“It was almost the worst position to finish in! Having said that, just to take part in a home games is a real honour and the memories will remain with me for the rest of my life.”
In 2005 Adam completed a PGCE in Outdoor Education at Bangor University, and has since become one of the UK’s best qualified kayak coaches. He currently works at Plas y Brenin, the National Mountain Centre, and is also a Senior Lecturer in Outdoor Education at Liverpool John Moores University.
He has been prolific in both sea and river kayaking, completing several remote white water first descents on 2 continents. Last year he entered the Yukon 1000 – the longest, and some would say the toughest, kayak race in the world – he won!
Adam represents the team’s technical kayaking expert and has access to boat manufacturers, equipment sponsorship potential and his never ending supply of humour and enthusiasm make the most arduous journey a pleasure.
Tori James, at the age of 25, became the youngest British woman and the first Welsh woman to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. Tori stars in the BBC documentary ‘On Top of the World’ which was produced using video footage which she shot and directed whilst climbing Everest.
Tori is a multi-talented individual with a passion for extreme adventure, having also completed a 2400km traverse of New Zealand on a bike, and completed the gruelling 360 mile Polar Challenge, a world first with an all female team.
“I am inspired by long unsupported journeys that rely on human power and endurance and a powerful team spirit. My personal motivations have always come from trying to achieve something which appears beyond my reach. Beeline Britain is going to test me to the limit once again, this time on the sea, and through the UK’s beautiful countryside. I can’t wait.”