What is it about the Anaconda Adventure Race National Series in Australia that particularly appeals to you?
I love the diversity of adventure races. I was never very sporty at school, so I have had to work hard to get myself up to fitness in my 30s. I have taken part in endurance races all over the world and I love the mix of people all pushing their own personal boundaries. The Anaconda race is in a beautiful location and you can't ask for much more than that for motivation when you're flagging.
In upmarket travel we've seen a rise in people paying a lot of money for a real adventure -where do you think this need comes from/ is it growing?
People are time poor and they want an intense experience in a short amount of time. Many people are chained to their office desk for weeks on end and are looking for a motivation to keep fit. Adventures offer a powerful hit. A week can feel like months. It gives them plenty to talk about with their friends. Normal holiday tales just don't cut it anymore. people want to hear about adventure and excitement.
You learn to value the small things in life and get to see how precious life is... it is about life and defining who you are and where you are going.
You've crossed the Sahara desert, rowed the Atlantic Ocean in 49 days and raced to the South Pole. What has all this isolation taught you about life, love ...and all that? Or is it just about sore feet and aching limbs?
Where do I begin. it has taught me so much about life. you learn to appreciate what you have. You learn to value the small things in life and get to see how precious life is. It is so much more than blisters and sore feet, it is about life and defining who you are and where you are going. Every adventure or challenge I do makes me a different person. You learn about yourself and those around you. You learn not to become complacent in life and to value those close to you. Family becomes everything.
What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced?
That's a tough one to answer. Rowing the Atlantic was a massive challenge but probably the scariest thing I have ever had to do was diving with Nile crocodiles in the
Okavango Delta of Botswana
. I scuba dived without any protection or cage with wild crocs over 4 m long. It was so unbelievably scary but probably one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
You have two young children - do you want them to grow up to be accountants or follow in your footsteps?
In some ways I'd like them to have a nice sensible job without danger, but on the other hand I hope they are adventurous, not in the endurance kind of way, but generally in life. I hope they will explore the world and get to see the many faces of planet earth.
Where do you go on holiday with the family?
The family are still young so we don't travel too far. We spend our summers in
which is where my wife's family are from. We also go to Portugal and Dubai where we also have family. I can't wait for the children to get a little older so that we can start exploring more.
You've led ordinary people on extraordinary adventures - what is your own most extreme dream?
That was a tough series. I led more than 20 expeditions all around the world. Probably one of the hardest was to the Mountains of the moon in Uganda. We had to cross the world's biggest bog. It was muddy, cold and tough going.
Name three completely un-adventurous things you love to do.
Drink fine wine, preferably a new world Sauvignon Blanc, go for a walk in Hyde park in
with a flat white, the children, my wife and the dogs (two labs), and dinner in front of the tele.