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RAYC AGM and Curry Supper - Friday 24th March 2023

Our guest speaker this year is Ian Rivers – a former gunner with 29 Cdo and who served with the SAS for 21 years. In 2021, Ian rowed single handed across the Atlantic, flying the RAYC ensign and without the use of any modern navigational devices. I am sure Ian will be a fascinating speaker and will inspire us with his tales of ocean adventures.

On August 23rd 2021, Ian Rivers became the first person to row from New York to the Isles of Scilly on his own and without GPS. When he landed on the steps of St Mary’s Harbour, he set a new record for Atlantic rowing.

He left New York on May 31st and spent 85 days at sea. He rowed 3485 miles and was out of sight of land for three months. Ian capsized on three occasions, one pitch pole, and, during a force ten + storm, he was trapped upside down with the cabin filling with water. He has described it as an utterly terrifying ordeal. As his maps were destroyed, he finished the row by navigating using just his compass and attempting to take sextant readings.

The numerous storms also caused significant damage to Sentinel, the boat. He had to repair the steering and construct a new rudder. He lost most of his communication devices and was only able to charge the batteries by using solar panels. In the worst incident of capsizing, he hit his head, back and shoulder and sustained a number of broken ribs and concussion.

He took on the challenge to try and raise half a million pounds for two charities; the SAS Association’s Sentinel programme which supports former members of 22 Special Air Service and St Michael’s Hospice in Herefordshire.

Ian has led a life of adventure. He joined the army after becoming inspired by the Falklands War. He fought in theatres across the world and was a member of 22 Special Air Service regiment for more than two decades. In December 2012, whilst working for an American news network, he was kidnapped in Syria. He escaped his captors and managed to find his way to safety using only natural indicators.

Ian is a qualified mountain guide and was part of the British Army West Ridge Everest challenge in 2006. He is also Ocean Yacht Master qualified and has represented Britain in the age group European and World championships. He provides 1:1 Executive Coaching, and he speaks to organizations about resilience, the importance of team, and the “ownership mindset.” He is currently working on his memoirs.

If you haven’t signed up already, please click on this link to confirm your attendance or drop an email to the Secretary. If you are already coming, please feel free to invite family and friends to listen to Ian’s story….the more the merrier. However, please respond ASAP as we need to confirm final numbers by 10th March.

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