It is a genuine honour and compliment, that a man of such standing, accomplishment and worldwide respect should offer his support by assuming the position as nominal patron of our "Swim The Big Blue" expedition.
Whilst others may consider our attempt to be extreme and perhaps beyond comprehension Sir Ran Fiennes as a true explorer is no stranger to imagining the apparently impossible and "making it happen against all odds", his message to our team and particularly Ben, came as no surprise:
"Congratulations on getting so well advanced on your very ambitious and worthy challenge!"
- Sir Ranulph Fiennes, 2013
A few examples of Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ gifts to the world of exploration include:
- First to reach both Poles (with Charles Burton).
- First to cross Antarctic and Arctic Ocean (with Charles Burton).
- First to circumnavigate the world along its polar axis (with Charles Burton).
- Achieved world first in 1992/1993 by completing the first unsupported crossing of the Antarctic Continent (with Mike Stroud). This was the longest unsupported polar journey in history.
- 1993 Sir Ranulph Fiennes was awarded the O.B.E (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in recognition of his actions of "human endeavour and for charitable causes".
- In 2003, only 3½ months after a massive heart attack, coma and double bypass, Sir Ran (with Mike Stroud), achieved the first Seven marathons, in seven consecutive days, on all seven continents.
- In March 2005, Sir Ran climbed Mount Everest (Tibet-side) to within 300m of summit raising £2 million for The British Heart Foundation.
- March 2007, witnessed Sir Ran climbing the North Face of the Eiger (with Kenton Cool and Ian Parnell), raising £1.8 million for Marie Curie Cancer Care's Delivering Choice Programme.
As of May 2009, aged 65, Sir Ran became the oldest person to climb Mount Everest.
Sir Ranulph's career has seen him serve with The British Army and SAS, and become the most respected and undisputed explorer of our time, if not in history. In 1970 Ran married his childhood girlfriend Virginia Pepper "Ginny" who sadly, later died of cancer. Ginny was the first female to be awarded The Polar Medal in respect of her unfailing support of her husband, Sir Ranulph Fiennes throughout all of his expeditions.
These are all firsts, whether it be serving as the youngest Captain in The British Army or being the first to circumnavigate the globe along its polar axis. All of these demonstrate clearly that our patron Sir Ranulph Fiennes knows what it is to stand on the edge of something monumental, unexplored, staring into the abyss and its dark depths, the ocean as deep as an Antarctic crevasse, whilst pushing himself to the extreme of his professional and personal limits, raising monies for worthwhile causes and charity; over fourteen million pounds for charities and good causes, he has inspired many.
The above is purely a summary of our patron and is in no way a complete summary of his life to date. Sir Ranulph has led and experienced a truly remarkable life which consists of honours, doctorates, awards and life changing expeditions. The only way to truly appreciate his endeavours is to read one of Ran's nineteen publications. "Living Dangerously" (1988).
Sir Ran Fiennes demonstrates that anything can be done if you put your heart, mind and body into something. Swimming The Big Blue really will be a case of "Mind Over Matter" (1993).
We thank you, Sir Ranulph Fiennes for being our nominal patron.