Guest Speaker - Sir Ranulph Fiennes
In 1984 the Guinness Book of Records described Sir Ranulph as the "World's Greatest Living Explorer". He was awarded the Sultan of Oman's Bravery Medal in 1970, the Polar Medal with bar from the Queen, the Explorers Club of New York Medal in 1983, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society's Founder's Medal in 1984, and both he and his first wife received the Polar Medal in 1987. He has received an Honorary Doctorate of Science.
In 1993 he was awarded an OBE for "human endeavour and charitable services". He has led 22 major expeditions to remote parts of the world including to both Poles. He is the author of over 15 books including The Feather Men, a UK No1 Best Seller, Fit For Life plus an autobiography.
During the last 40 years his astonishing feats of physical and mental endurance have claimed 10 expeditionary world records.
Each of his expeditions is designed to raise money for charitable causes. To date, they have raised over £14.2 million and Ran has been named as the UK's top celebrity fundraiser by JustGiving.
His exploration feats include:
- 1979/1982 The first person (with Charles Burton) to reach both Poles; The first person (with Charles Burton) to cross Antarctica and the Arctic Ocean; The first person (with Charles Burton) to circumnavigate earth on its polar axis.
- 1986 Achieved to Furthest North record for unsupported polar travel.
- 1991 Led the Ubar expedition which uncovered the long lost Atlantis of the sands, frankincense centre of the world; Broke his own Furthest North record for unsupported polar travel.
- 1993 Led the first unsupported crossing of Antarctica (with Mike Stroud); Achieved the longest unsupported polar journey in history (with Mike Stroud).
- 1980/1993 First man to reach the South Pole twice. First man to cross the Antarctic Continent twice. Setting off from Berkner Island with Dr. Mike Stroud in 1993. This expedition broke three world records and raised £1 million for charity.
- In 2003, only months after recovering from a triple heart bypass, Sir Ranulph completed the 7X7X7 challenge: Completing 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days and in 2007 faced up to his own life long fear of heights by successfully scaling the North Face of the Eiger.
- In 2009, at the third attempt, Sir Ranulph became the oldest Britain to climb Everest and was named by JustGiving as the UK's top celebrity fundraiser in 2009 and 2010, having raised more than £2.5 million for Marie Curie Cancer Care over the two years.
Ranulph holds the current world record as being the only person ever to have climbed Mount Everest and crossed both Antarctica and the Arctic Ocean via the Poles.
He has appeared in numerous TV programmes, publications and books and even advised the Top Gear team on surviving the Arctic, having been a successful "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car".