So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain, American Author
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Graduate paddles off on world trip
A Rutland graduate has paddled a sea kayak under Tower Bridge as she started her bid to travel 20,000 miles around the world - entirely under her own steam.
Sarah Outen, 25, hopes to kayak back under the same bridge in two and a half years' time, having first cycled across three continents and rowed solo across two oceans.
Ms Outen was in high spirits as she laughed and joked with a crowd of supporters and declared: "Bring on the world!"
The Oxford graduate is already a Guinness world record-holder for her 2009 solo row across the Indian ocean - the first woman and the youngest person ever to do so.
She dedicated that adventure to the memory of her "courageous, determined and stubborn" father Derek, who died in 2006, and had suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for nearly 20 years.
Ms Outen described her "London2London: Via the World" adventure as a "natural leap" from the Indian Ocean crossing. She said: "I was so happy out there. When you're human powered you're so intimately connected with the landscape, I really enjoyed that."
She was cheered off today by family including her mother, Helen, and brothers Michael, 27, and Matt, 20, on an adventure that could see her become the first woman ever to row solo across the North Pacific.
Ms Outen said: "There's so many special people that have helped me get this far. I'm just looking forward to going out and getting paddling now."
Having raised £30,000 for arthritis charities by her Indian Ocean crossing, Ms Outen is now fundraising for Coppafeel!, The Jubilee Sailing Trust, MND Association and Water Aid, charities she described as "super-special".
Ms Outen, who was cheered on her way by Rutland school children, said: "One of the reasons I wanted to go on this journey wasn't just to go and have a big adventure, but I get such a kick out of sharing those adventures, particularly with youngsters."