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Would you take on this challenge? Watch as Norfolk adventurer completes epic 66-day Greenland to Scotland kayaking journey

PUBLISHED: 12:02 06 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:19 06 December 2017

George Bullard, left, and Olly Hicks complete their kayak challenge.  Picture: Henry Hunt

George Bullard, left, and Olly Hicks complete their kayak challenge. Picture: Henry Hunt

Henry Hunt

He’s completed dozens of extraordinary expeditions around the world but even by George Bullard’s standards his latest adventure has gone down as his most risky to date.

Olly Hicks, front, and George Bullard, rear, in the kayak.  Picture: Emma HallOlly Hicks, front, and George Bullard, rear, in the kayak. Picture: Emma Hall

The Norfolk-born explorer spent 66 days in a two-man kayak to try and recreate an ancient journey undertaken by Inuk travellers from Greenland to Scotland.

The 29-year-old from Gressenhall, along with Londoner Olly Hicks, battled stormy seas, sleep deprivation and hallucinations to complete the journey in the summer of last year.

And now a documentary of their adventure, made by Red Bull, will be shown at Dereham Cinema later this month.

Mr Bullard, who has co-founded an adventure event company to organise trips for other people seeking an endurance challenge, hopes by sharing his experiences it will encourage and inspire youngsters to push themselves and see the world.

George Bullard and Olly Hicks complete their kayak challenge from Greenland to Scotland. Picture; Henry HuntGeorge Bullard and Olly Hicks complete their kayak challenge from Greenland to Scotland. Picture; Henry Hunt

“My message is that I’m no different to anyone else and so there is no reason why the next generation of Norfolk children can’t go on and do something epic,” he said.

“So many young people are so disenchanted by life and people are so busy but I want them to feel inspired to take a risk once in a while. What’s the worst that can happen?”

He does, however, admit that 66 days in a kayak is “not everyone’s cup of tea” and it was on this trip that he felt at his most vulnerable and exposed to the elements.

The pair cooked, ate, slept and paddled from their seats for hours on end. They even caught their own fish which Mr Bullard cooked by boiling it on a little stove perched precariously between his legs, trying not to set fire to his very flammable dry suit.

“It was an extraordinary way to terrify myself,” he said.

“But it is a journey I will remember for the rest of my life. It was very very special.

“I know very few people would willingly sign up to do something like this but I had been keen to do a trip with Olly for a while and we have memories to share for a lifetime.”

The screening of In The Wake of Finnmen will take place on Sunday, December 17 at 10.45am at Hollywood Cinema, Dereham, and is raising funds for the RNLI. There will be a free glass (or two) of gluhwein.

Tickets cost £15 for adults and £10 for children from the website www.fixr.co/event/913253811.

The ultimate challenge

The kayak trip took George Bullard and Olly Hicks from Greenland to Iceland, around the north of Iceland, then onto the Faroe Islands.

Although they left in a clear weather window they were intercepted by fishermen who explained that serious gales were expected and had to abandon the leg.

They then spent two weeks at home for a weather window, back to the Faroes, south towards Scotland, a week on North Rona and finally landed at Durness, Scotland.

A film crew documented their time on land and around the coasts but when they were at sea they were totally alone and filming themselves.

“For the most part it was quite boring at sea,” said Mr Bullard. “But we couldn’t move, turn round, or even see our legs in the boat.”

He is now planning his next adventure - as one of a team of three aiming to be the first people to trek to the North Pole unsupported in winter.

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