World's Greatest Living Explorer
Ancestry traceable to Charlemagne’s court. First Fiennes to England in the 11th Century with the Normans. Educated Eton College. Lieutenant in Royal Scots Greys (tank regiment). French Parachute Wings 1968. With Special Air Service (SAS) in 1966. Seconded to Sultan’s Armed Forces in Oman. Fellow of Royal Geographical Society 1968. Vice President World Expeditionary Association. Dhofar Campaign Medal and Sultan’s Bravery Medal 1970. Top Medal of Explorer’s Club of New York 1983. Livingstone Gold Medal for Expedition Leadership by Royal Scottish Geographical Society 1982. Leader of five major expeditions 1969-83. Writer of six travel books, many articles and news features.
The remarkable story of the Transglobe expedition, the first circumpolar journey round earth, described in the New York Times as the world’s last great adventure, and by the expedition patron, HRH Prince Charles as ‘mad but marvellous’.
All the rapids, whirlpools, avalanches, deserts, swamps, terrorist bullets and faulty parachutes that have hitherto provided the ingredients of Ranulph Fiennes’ eventful career take a poor second place to the horrors and triumphs of his Transglobe expedition.
His wife Ginnie, conceived the circumpolar idea. For seven years they strove to raise support for it and finally set out from Greenwich in a thirty-year-old ice strengthened vessel, “Benjamin Bowring”, with a colourful crew of volunteers from many countries and backgrounds.
The 100,000-mile route took them across the Sahara via Tombouctou, through the swamps and jungles of Mali and the Ivory Coast, over huge unexplored crevasse fields of Antartica, the inhospitable North West Passage, grave-yard of so many famous venturers, and into the unpredictable hazards of the Arctic Ocean. Ranking alongside the journeys of Amundsen, Scott and Peary, the Transglobe endeavour, a chance housewife’s dream, became of the 1980’s a truly historic voyage.
The achievement of this “dream” by Ranulph Fiennes is an inspiring example to all of us of what can be accomplished in spite of hardship, frustration and seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Ran Fiennes (full name: Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes Bt – pronounced Fines – D.Sc,FRGS.) was in 1986 selected by the Guinness Book of Records for their World Hall of Fame as the “World’s Greatest Living Explorer”. After motivating, amusing and thrilling some 50 of their major business conventions around the world, IBM managers rank him among the world’s greatest speakers.
I hasten to express our gratitude for the marvellous presentatioin on your memorable expedition. It is quite remarkable how appropriate the review of your exploits turned out to be. Many comparisons could be drawn between your efforts and those we ask of our own people, such as decisiveness, tenacity, courage and the will and determination to succeed. It is for that reason that your presentation was among the most relevant and successful we have yet held for our staff
-Bank of America
Congratulations not only on your heroic accomplishments, but the manner in which you convey this story to an audience
A truly amazing evening. Sir Ranulph not only left our guests in tears of laughter, but moreover inspired by his unparalleled, motivational spirit.
-Saatchi & Saatchi
You now have around 3000 avid Google fans who have been raving about your talk ever since you took to the stage
Last night was incredible. A room full of people left hugely inspired, and the atmosphere was the best that City Lit has had in a long time. I can't thank Sir Ranulph enough
Wonderful. He is a funny, humble and extraordinary man. If I had to be critical it would be that those that have followed his life would have liked a little of the marathons and the Everest Climbs to be incorporated but that was a very small thing. Everybody loved him.