4th October 2018
Tom’s career reflects an extraordinary capacity for succeeding against all odds. He has a resilience bred into him from a childhood in a tough orphanage and 9 years serving with both the Parachute Regiment where he was involved in military campaigns in Aden, Malaya and Borneo and active service in the S.A.S Regiment.
Towards the end of his military service he decided at the age of 26 years old to row single handed across the treacherous North Atlantic Ocean from Canada to Ireland.
Embarking on his epic voyage, passing between icebergs, seeing whales, surviving several storms with 50 ft high seas he made landfall in the land of his birth, Ireland. His sheer determination helped him to plan and carry through what was to be the first of many adventures He completed his epic voyage navigating with a sextant to become the first person in history to row across the North Atlantic Ocean alone from West to East and in a world record 70 days.
After the row, Tom left the Regiment to start up his own Outdoor Centre and found the perfect place at Ardintigh Bay, a rugged wilderness location right on the shores of Loch Nevis, near Mallaig.
When Tom arrived at Ardintigh during early 1970 he pitched a tent in the old ruin and set about putting up buildings and developing the Centre which has been open since 1973. Over the years almost every type of Army unit has passed through Ardintigh Highland Outdoor Centre. Tom also welcomes many Adult & Youth groups to the Centre and is a role model to the groups of disadvantaged and challenging youths who he guides and encourages. His motto being “If you think you can, you will”.
Since Tom’s army career and between running his Outdoor Centre in the West Highlands Tom has made world news with his extraordinary feats of daring and endurance, which include five epic Lone Atlantic voyages in unusual crafts including sailing the world’s smallest yacht at just 7’ 9” in length across the Atlantic Ocean. Another adventure was a lone intrepid expedition, Tom lived on Rockall (a pinnacle of rock in the Atlantic) for 40 days to re affirm Britain’s rights to the rock and its surrounding oil and mineral wealth.
Tom’s current project is a boat he helped to build that is shaped like a sperm whale and is called Moby, Prince of Whales; Tom’s intention is to raise awareness of environmental issues by using Moby as a marketing platform. Tom and a crew have completed a 2,000 mile voyage sailing Moby around the coastline of Britain, calling into 50 harbours en route.
Married to Jill and with two sons James & Ryan and also two Granddaughters. Tom’s family are part of the crew, giving him the logistical and moral support that he knows is critical to his safety and success.
“I am honoured to be an MPCT Patron and be part of such an outstanding organisation that teaches, guides and encourages youths to reach their full potential and achieve their personal best in life.
I look forward to seeing MPCT in every college throughout the UK offering this fantastic opportunity. Thank you Huw for having the vision to create MPCT and to your team for their hard work and support as you go from strength to strength”.