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“The coldest, I have been? Minus 70. In the Antarctic. It gets really cold down there.” Craig Mathieson runs the Polar Academy. A charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged young adults a chance to train for and lead a ten-day expedition in the wild. Turning them into role models for the next generation.
“But you know what, I was toasty warm because I had the right kit on. When people ask me what’s the coldest I’ve ever been, it was actually in the Cairngorms."
"I wasn’t wearing the right kit and the rain soaked through and I was chilled to the marrow bone!"
It’s this experience and understanding of the importance of preparation that’s helped and inspired Craig to found The Polar Academy. We believe he is one of our Ambassadors who gets the most out of his watch. Craig wears The Holton Professional; “For me a watch is a lot more than a gadget to tell the time. Read more
Beth French is an open water swimmer who’s best known for swimming the English Channel seven years ago and then becoming the first person to swim 26 miles from Cornwall to the Isles of Scilly two years later. But she now has even colder climates in her sights: “I want to swim in Antarctica!” More specifically she wants to experience an ex-whaling station and whale graveyard by swimming over it.
“It’s a long-term mission. I would love to do it in two years’ time but it doesn’t come with a small price tag.”
Beth’s already started her training and most recently completed her first ever zero degree swim wearing only a bikini. “I wanted to see if my body was capable and you know what I found it totally is my bag!” Read more
Alex Flynn is off for a run next spring. We say run, it’s actually four ultra-marathons totalling 1,200 kilometres across four deserts and completely self-supported. Starting in April 2020 and finishing in November. Only a couple of hundred people have ever completed the entire race. He hopes to be the first with Parkinson’s.
Race the Planet starts in Namibia with the Namib Race, then moves to Mongolia for the Gobi March, the Atacama Crossing in Chile and finishes in Antarctica across what’s called The Last Desert.
“I think I will be comfortable with the distance of 1200 km but it’s the terrain that will take its toll and the ability to adequately recover, that will be quite debilitating.” Read more
Firefighter Bex became an Elliot Brown ambassador after winning a place on the 2018 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Described as one of the biggest challenges of the natural world, Bex sailed from Qingdao in China, over 6,000 miles to Seattle, taking one month to complete the endurance test.
Since returning to shore, Bex has been promoted to Crew Manager at the Derbyshire Fire Safety Joint Training Centre in Ripley. But if there’s anyone quietly working behind the scenes to champion female adventurers, it’s Bex Sims. Read more
Climber and Mammut athlete, Ethan Walker, has just returned from his third trip to Norway in a battle to succeed on one of the hardest climbing routes he has tried yet. The ‘Nordic Plumber’ is nothing to do with Scandinavian pipework. It’s an 8c route inside the Hanshelleren Cave, in Flatanger. A cave that’s famed for housing many of the hardest routes in the world.
‘Change’ - the first route to receive a proposed grade of 9b+ and ‘Silence’ – was the first route to be given the loft grade of 9c! Both of which were established by one of the best climbers of all time, Adam Ondra.
“My route, Nordic Plumber, is right next door to Change and starts the same way and then breaks off so you do actually climb part of the route.” Says Ethan. Read more