After Debra Searle MBE’s oarsman husband developed an uncontrollable fear of the ocean, Debra, a novice rower, continued alone and rowed 3000 miles across the Atlantic. It should have taken them 6 weeks but, to achieve her goal, Debra ended up spending 3 ½ months at sea alone, often battling against 30′ waves, sharks, and force 8 squalls in a 23′ plywood boat.
Debra Searle MBE is a truly inspirational woman and a fantastic motivational speaker. A professional adventurer, author and BBC presenter, Debra first hit the headlines when she set out to row across the Atlantic with her husband. Unfortunately, he had to be rescued so Debra, a novice rower, continued alone and rowed 3000 miles from Tenerife to Barbados. It should have taken them six weeks but, to achieve her goal, Debra ended up spending 3 ½ months at sea alone, encountering 30′ waves, sharks, and force 8 squalls in her 23-foot plywood boat.
Debra’s recent expeditions have included sailing around Antarctica, racing in the Monte Carlo Rally in a 1957 Alfa Romeo, various L’Etape du Tours, The Vogalonga in Venice, and becoming the first Briton to complete the gruelling Yukon River Quest with good friend Bruce Parry.
She went on to lead a group of women known as The Sisterhood to a new World Record for Dragon Boating across the English Channel. This particular adventure created huge media interest in the UK due to a rather famous teammate – Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge.
Debra’s spirit of adventure gained her an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen and she was delighted to be appointed a trustee of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme in 2003, the youngest and only female trustee working alongside His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex. Debra has been appointed Member of the Victorian Order (MVO) for her services to the Award. In 2015, Debra combined her two passions for adventure and gender equality, leading an all-female team on an expedition to the Arctic.
In 2019 Debra will be making frequent trips to Hollywood as the movie telling the story of her Atlantic row is currently in development.
Key elements Debra can cover include:
There is one thing that we as individuals can still have total control over – our attitude that we bring to the challenge and it is this that makes all the difference. Through an amazing experience, Debra Searle has a unique and powerful way in which she brings this point alive, in a way that people can relate to. Having worked with Debra on two separate occasions I have seen it have a very profound and thought provoking impact on people.
Image copyright: Image © Debra Searle MBE
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Adventure, After Dinner, Diversity & Inclusion, Inspiration, Workshop
Adversity, Extreme Conditions, Overcoming Adversity, Personal Development, Resilience