Tell us about your paddle boarding expedition and how you came up with the idea to do it?

The concept of The Great British Paddle has been in my mind for quite a while to be honest but I never thought I would get chance to do it given the significant time commitment required. This year for me was supposed to be all about ‘Ice Adventures’ including running marathons in the 10 coldest places on the planet. They eventually got completely cancelled which was very disappointing but unsurprising with how the world has been so badly affected by COVID-19. I do hope to continue my runs later having completed Siberia, Yukon, Alaska and Iceland earlier this year.

A few weeks ago when lockdown started to lift, like everyone else I was going bonkers sat at home but at the same time respected all the government's guidance on social distancing. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to activate The Great British Paddle and see if I could bring the concept to life. I have been very fortunate to have some incredible support and sponsors, including my family at Bremont Watches too as always. I have been amazed by how much momentum we have gathered in a little over 2 weeks, it’s going to be an epic adventure!

This has never been done before, what do you think will be the greatest risks and challenges you anticipate facing?

It has not been successfully completed before but it has been attempted a couple of times. I have been fortunate enough to speak with those who have attempted it to gain invaluable experience as to how I can try to avoid any mishaps along the way. There is the obvious physical and psychological endurance challenge which of course is going to be relentless throughout, but these are things that are within my control and I am confident in my own ability and my approach too. The real challenge for me will be the things I cannot control such as the wind, tidal movements and the unforgiving British weather patterns.

How important is time keeping to you for this challenge and how long do you predict it will take?

Time is paramount in all aspects of life, for me it is our greatest gift and resource and I try to invest it wisely whether it’s with projects or people. The timing of our daily and nightly paddles is the key to progress and success, we will have to ensure that each window of opportunity we take full of advantage of. My target is to complete the expedition in under 100 days, which many people tell me is simply not possible. I will give it 110%, but my main objective is to complete a full circumnavigation in the fastest time possible.



Being a former British soldier, how do you feel your military training will come into play during this adventure?

As a former military man I am used to working in harsh, remote and unpredictable conditions so I fully understand the risks, dangers and challenges ahead. I have never claimed to be some sort of super soldier, I wasn’t in the special forces nor am I an elite level athlete, but the military does teach you the core values of respect, courage, integrity, loyalty, discipline and selfless commitment. When you combine these with determination and focus on a clear objective, it becomes a very powerful combination. I am very much a normal family guy but I carry the military mindset and approach to life in everything I do. I am also the UK ambassador for Army Cadets, this is another motivation for wanting to do well in order to inspire the next generation using the spirit of adventure.

How did you first come across the Bremont brand?

I came across the Bremont team about 3 years ago when I was preparing to run through the three most dangerous countries in the world for charity. I met Catherine and Colonel Nemo from the military and special projects team initially who wanted to kindly support my expedition and the rest was history as they say. I have worn a Bremont watch in the toughest of environments in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden and on many other adventures. For me Bremont is not just a brand, it is a family, a culture, a way of life and it is full of special people doing some incredibly inspiring things around the world. Co-founders Nick and Giles have also been incredibly supportive on a personal level too with helping me try and build a school for 250 children on the Horn of Africa with allowing me to auction each expedition watch I have worn for charity which has also raised over £20,000 since I joined Bremont. The Bremont strap line is ‘Tested Beyond Endurance’ and The Great British Paddle is certainly going to do that to me!

You will be wearing the Argonaut which forms part of our Armed Forced Collection – tell us a bit about what Bremont’s military links and this particular watch means to you?

To wear a military watch from the MoD approved range is very special to me as a former soldier naturally. What I love about the Argonaut is that as well as it being robust, stylish and with the usual precision timing that we know is a hallmark of Bremont, is what the watch and name stands for. The Argonaut is a name inspired by Greek Mythology and has been associated with the ocean for centuries. I also read in Nat Geo recently that the name Argonaut was associated with brave souls who head to sea for adventures, which was a nice thought indeed. With minutes on my paddleboard being so critical in relation to wind and tide, I will also make great use of the internal rotating bezel which is a really cool dive feature, hopefully I will be on the water more than I’m in it though on this occasion!

Discover the Argonaut

Which other Bremont ambassador or expedition has inspired you the most?

There are so many cool expeditions and adventures taking place on a daily basis in the Bremont family it would be very difficult to name just one, as so many people do so much inspiring work. Of course what Nims achieved with #BremontProjectPossible was unbelievable and I doubt any mountaineer in our lifetime will deliver something of this magnitude. It really shifted the public perception of believing in the perceived impossible, the man is superhuman I’m sure. I worked very closely with double Olympic rowing champion Alex Gregory MBE in 2019, without his experience and guidance I would not of achieved a world first to row across the most dangerous strait of water. Not only is he one of the finest Olympians we have ever produced as a nation, but he is also an absolute gentleman and one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. Watching Jake Mayer summit K2 on his 3rd attempt was also very special, myself and Jake have served in the same unit, so it was awesome to see a fellow Cavalryman fulfilling his dream of conquering ‘Savage Mountain’.

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