When Olly Hicks first takes to the stage you would be forgiven for thinking he is about to introduce the great adventurer, rather than being the man himself. One generally associates epic physical adventures with towering figures. For someone who is the only person in the world to have rowed the Atlantic Ocean alone from America to Britain, he casts a much smaller shadow than you might expect.
This is an integral part of Hicks’ philosophy: extraordinary feats are achieved by ordinary people; you can do anything you set your mind to. He certainly has the CV to show for it having spent over 2% of his life to date alone at sea.
To date his expeditions total over 24,000 miles across land and sea. At the age of 23 he completed his first record-breaking adventure with a 4,000 mile solo row across the Atlantic, which is yet still to be matched. Four years later he completed the first ever row from Tasmania to New Zealand, another 2,000 miles alone in the middle of the deep blue. This was part of a so-called failed attempt to circumnavigate the globe, again on his own on a rowing boat, only succumbing to technical difficulties with steering. Not to be beaten, he is currently planning his next attempt, which he will begin in 2018, spend the whole of 2019 at sea, and return in 2020.
Since his last attempt he has completed the Fastnet Yacht race, kayaked the North Sea, passed a gruelling selection process into the army airborne reserve and led a 66 day, 1,500 mile voyage from Greenland to Scotland by sea kayak to prove that the same journey may have been made by Inuits in the 17th Century.
Olly outlines what goes into the planning, training, preparation, fundraising, and logistics of these kinds of major expeditions. He digs into what motivates him to pursue such extreme feats, and
perform such astonishing, never-done-before achievements. What he has learnt on the oceans, in the deserts, polar ice caps and in the military as well as on his sponsorship raising rounds makes for original and gripping presentations, which Olly tailors to each audience to make sure he always leaves audiences with a useful take-away.
Despite his incredible feats Hicks is a modest, and engaging speaker whose stories are as powerful for CEO’s, sales teams, and students, as they are enjoyable for event organisers looking to impress their guests with an after dinner speaker with a difference.