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27th September 2016

Oliver Hicks wins 2005 Spirit of Adventure Award.

He was going to try to become the youngest and only the 14th man to row the Atlantic West to East. He was a worthy applicant whose endeavour was directed at raising money for charity. A 23 year old with a passion for adventure, he has already completed the world’s longest kayak race - the Yukon River Quest - and the Marathon des Sables in the Sahara.

He set out to row the 3,256 miles from New Jersey to Falmouth on the 27th May 05, hoping to average 50 miles a day and complete the voyage in 60 days by following, as best he could, the Gulf Stream. That plan would have netted for him the record for the fastest crossing. By the 7th September 2005, he had been at sea 103 days, had rowed 3002 miles and had 643 more miles to row to reach the Scillies. Persistent northeasterly winds forced him south of his projected track. But he remained undaunted, despite having experienced fearsome weather and having snapped one of his three pairs of oars. He crossed the line of Bishop’s Rock at 09:56 BST, on the 28th September, 2005 and made Landfall at the National Maritime Museum, Falmouth, on Friday 30th September, after 124 days at sea, having been re-provisioned by Royal Navy Frigate HMS Cumberland. He is the youngest rower (23) to achieve the 3,000-mile crossing - and the slowest. Simply in terms of solitary survival at sea, it was an extraordinary achievement.

The Scott Society’s Mike Tarver was there to greet him - aided by prime sponsor, Richard Branson.

Sir Vivian Fuchs Youth Award

The Youth Award for £500 went to :

Jennie Latham, a 6th Form student at Skipton Girls High School from Keighley, Yorkshire, who went with the Yorkshire Schools Exploring Society to Peru and Ecuador, trekking the high Andes in the Huayhuash Mountain Range, mountain biking from Llamac to Catajama then to Loja in Ecuador, while studying the culture of the Mayan Indians. Had she but been older, the expedition would have stood comparison with the competition for our main award. We look forward to seeing her report.