Attempt at triple world record: Oldest, youngest & fastest water-ski the English Channel

August 26, 2015

Robin Hanbury-Tenison will attempt to break a world record by becoming the oldest person to water-ski the English Channel at age 79. © Survival International

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Explorer Robin Hanbury-Tenison will attempt to break a world record by becoming the oldest person to water-ski the English Channel at age 79, alongside Lauren Bird, the youngest, at age 13, and Hannah Bird, 16, who will attempt the fastest crossing.

The challenge is part of a series of eight ahead of Hanbury-Tenison’s 80th birthday – one for each decade – to raise the much-needed funds for Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, which he co-founded in 1969.

WHEN: Sunday 30 August 30 or Monday 31 August 2015 (weather dependant)

WHERE: from Dover to Calais

Hanbury-Tenison’s seven other challenges were: 
- Skydiving from about 4,000 meters;
- Cave abseiling down the Titan shaft (141m), the deepest pitch in Britain, and out of Peak Cavern in the Derbyshire Peak District, England’s deepest cave;
- Climbing the four highest mountains in the British Isles: Ben Nevis (1344m), Snowdon (1085m), Carrauntoohil (1038m), and Sca Fell (964m);
- Running the London Marathon.

One of Robin Hanbury-Tenison's challenges included skydiving from about 4000 meters. © Justin Underwood 2015

Hanbury-Tension said: “This looks like being the toughest challenge of all for me. I’m not as strong a skier as I was and if it’s rough I may not make it.”

Robin Hanbury-Tenison, OBE, (b. 1936) is one of the founders and President of Survival International. In 1982, the Sunday Times named him “the greatest explorer of the past 20 years” and in 1991 as one of the 1,000 “Makers of the 20th Century.”

Hanbury-Tenison has been on more than 30 expeditions, including Survival’s first ever field visit in 1971 to dozens of Indian peoples at the invitation of the Brazilian government. His conclusions laid the groundwork for Survival’s international campaign for Brazilian Indians led the Royal Geographical Society’s largest expedition of 115 scientists to study the rainforest of Sarawak and was awarded the RGS Gold Medal.

Hanbury-Tenison has raised more than £60,000 of his £80,000 target. Visit his fundraising page.

Lauren Bird (b. 2002) is the current European Waterski Champion in her age group.

Hannah Bird (b. 1999) is the 2014 British Waterski Champion & 2015 European Junior Cup Champion. She is a part of Team GB.

View a picture gallery of Robin Hanbury-Tenison’s eight challenges for 80 years

Please contact Ghislain Pascal on +44 (0)7778-788735 or [email protected]

Brazilian Indigenous People