PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS - Friday 1st September 2017, Great Hall
Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE
"The World's Greatest Living Explorer" according to the 'Guinness Books of Records'
The only man alive to have traveled the surface of the World's polar axis. Some of his main challenges 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) and entirely by surface level - this 3 year, 52 000 mile
odyssey took intricate planning, 1900 sponsors, a 52 person team to handle, complex communications, meticulous planning and iron determination
mixed with flexibility. The circumnavigation has never been successfully repeated.
- Led the first hovercraft expedition up the longest river in the world (the Nile) in 1968/1969.
- Achieved world record for unsupported northerly polar travel in 1990.
- Led the team that discovered the lost city of Ubar on the Yemeni border in 1992 (after seven previous search expeditions over a 26 year period).
- 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.
- In 2003, only 3½ months after a massive heart attack, 3 day coma and double bypass, Ranulph Fiennes (with Mike Stroud) achieved the first 7x7x7 (Seven marathons in only seven days on all seven continents).
- March 2005, climbed Everest (Tibet-side) to within 300m of summit raising £2 million for the British Heart Foundations new research MRI scanner.
- March 2007, Sir Ranulph climbed the North Face of the Eiger and raised £1.8 million for Marie Curie Cancer Care’s delivering Choice Programme
- Winner of ITV Greatest Britons 2007 Sport Award (Other nominees included Joe Calzaghe and Lewis Hamilton)
- May 2008, climbed Everest (Nepal-side) to within 400m from summit raising £2.6m for Marie Curie Cancer Care – Delivering Choice Programme Marie Curie 2008 ‘Above and Beyond Award’ Winner
- Successfully summited Everest May 2009 becoming the oldest Briton to do so. £6.3m raised for M.C.C.C.
- In 2010 Sir Ranulph Fiennes was named as the UK’s top celebrity online fundraiser by Just Giving, the UK’s most popular online fundraising platform. Having raised more than £2.5 million online for Marie Curie Cancer Care between Jan 2009 and Dec 2010.
- He was involved in the planning of The Coldest Journey in 2012 and in 2013 over £1.8m was raised for Seeing is Believing. Another £1 million was raised for Marie Curie through successfully finishing the Marathon des Sables (2015)
- Explorers Club of New York – Keynote Speaker for their Annual Awards Dinner 2017
Ranulph Fiennes after climbing the feared North Face of the Eiger
French Parachute Wings 1968; Dhofar Campaign Medal 1968; Sultan of Oman's Bravery Medal 1970; Man of the Year 1982; Livingstone Gold Medal Royal Scottish Geographical Society 1983; Gold Medal NY Explorers Club 1984; Founder's Medal RGS 1984; The Polar Medal 1984 with Bar 1995 by HM the Queen (first wife was first female recipient); ITV Award for event of the decade 1990, Explorers Club (Br Chapter) Millennium Award for Navigation 2000; Oldie of the year 2004; Hon DSc Loughborough University 1986; University of Plymouth 2011; Hon Dr: University of Central England (Birmingham) 1995; University of Portsmouth 2000; University of Glasgow 2002; University of Sheffield 2005; Abertay University (Dundee) 2007; Plymouth 2011; University of Glamorgan 2012; University of Chester; Director of Science (Hon) 2014; Ambassador for Research BHF 2015; Great Outdoor Winner “Personality of the Year 2016”; Honorary Member Travellers Club
23 books including the UK bestseller (Times and Telegraph) in 1991 The Feather Men, and in 2003 the top selling biography (Times) of Captain Scott. My Heroes was published in 2011 and The Feather Men was released as a major motion picture Killer Elite (www.killerelite.com). Cold 2013, Agincourt 2014 followed by Heat 2015, and Fear and Colder 2016.
To date Ranulph Fiennes has raised over £18.3 million for different UK charities including the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, the British Heart Foundation and Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes has been named the UK’s top celebrity fundraiser by Just Giving, the UK’s most popular online fundraising platform. He has raised more than any other celebrity fundraiser featured on JustGiving.com during the same period. To date he has raised £8.3 million for Marie Curie (updated 09.2016).
Ranulph Fiennes completing the 2015 Marathon des Sables