Inundated with a wide range of adventure applications from microadventure mavericks to exploration enthusiasts, plans and ideas for exciting expeditions and feats of endurance certainly pushed the boundaries of possibility within the great outdoors. Four finalists were painstakingly whittled down and invited to the Blue Earth Summit in Bristol to pitch their pioneering adventures live on stage.
The finalists comprised of Felix Daglish, attempting to solo cycle as a quadriplegic from Dorset to the Orkney Islands, Olly Hicks, planning to row around the world, Mairead Cahill, aiming to cross the UK to highlight powerful, nature-based solutions and Russ Cook, running across Africa, completing 360 marathons over 16 countries in just 240 days.
The event saw a packed room gather together to listen to The Pitch Tent finalists, with all four adventurers delivering inspirational, thought-provoking presentations. Jaws dropped as Olly Hicks took to the stage and set about detailing his incredible plans to row around the world, with Felix next in line delivering a personal plea to change the way we see disability and struggle through his pioneering adventure.
Mairead successfully pitched her mission to spotlight environmental projects and people behind them, with a particular focus on female entrepreneurship, before Russ Cook bounded up to the stage barefoot to deliver a pitch alongside a personal plea for a shoe sponsor.
James, from Adventure Uncovered was overwhelmingly impressed with all four pitches, stating “All four adventure pitch tent finalists were winners in terms of conveying the potential impact their adventures could have, and we’ll definitely be following and sharing more about their big plans. From Russ’ powerful and often humorous ‘barefoot’ pitch (a first in its own right!) to Mairead’s thoughtful, positive purpose-driven, nature-based adventure (the audience’s favourite). Special congratulations goes out to Felix for coming out on top and sharing his plans to change the narrative and raise the profile of disability and adventure and Olly Hicks for sharing the most inspiring video of the session!”
The judging panel, made up of experts from the adventure industry, chose Felix’s pioneering adventure as their favourite pitch of the event, however, with the decision also opened up to the audience, this saw Mairead’s adventure come out on top, producing two very worthy winners.
“Being part of pitch tent was incredibly humbling and empowering. It felt great to see such enthusiasm for my adventure from people I respect and to have the opportunity to engage more in the culture of adventuring, which is pretty niche in public life. I am so grateful that this summit exists. Amplifying voices and creating a space for like minded people is so important for any movement, and it’s great that Blue Earth Summit is at the forefront of amplifying voices that could make a big change” said Felix Daglish.
“I was honoured to be selected as one of four finalists for my proposed adventure to spotlight the 10 best UK nature positive solutions across sea, land and city in 2023. It was great to receive so much interest for the project. I always enjoy the energy of the summit and the fact that it brings together people, pioneers and businesses that are passionate about creating positive impact for our green and blue spaces. It was great to connect with friends and collaborators old and new and have the chance to participate in some excellent talks and workshops“ said Mairead Cahill.
So, what’s next for our adventurers? Both Blue Earth Summit and Adventure Uncovered are extremely keen to help the adventurers secure the funding needed to turn their inspirational expeditions into a reality. If you or someone you know is in a position to invest, donate or help any of our finalists with their adventures, please do reach out.
“It’s important for us to follow through on the pitches and actively reach out to anyone in the adventure and outdoor community supporting any project in any way – financially, operationally, storytelling – to get in touch, asap! If you would like to get involved and support any of these adventures, please contact us and we’d be happy to connect you” says James, Adventure Uncovered.
Keep an eye out for updates on our finalists as we follow their journeys to find funding and completing their pioneering adventures.