The world record-breaking adventurer and endurance athlete Peter Bray, born in Plymouth to a Cornish family, is sharing his knowledge about sea kayaking through a new business he has established, called Kernow Coaching.
Peter Bray, who is accredited by the International Sea Kayak Guide Association (ISKGA), is providing one-to-one and small group kayaking coaching for beginners, right through to the most experienced.
“What makes my coaching unique is that I’m able to share many years of experience of expeditions including river and sea in every type of location imaginable – from extreme heat to freezing cold. I’m passionate about encouraging people to enjoy paddling, which is great fun but always having an acute awareness for the importance of safety at all times.”
Pete welcomes novices looking for professional competence through the Sea Kayaking Fundamentals Level 1 course. Alternatively, experienced paddlers wanting to push their comfort zones can learn a great deal. Night paddling is particularly popular.
Now based in Truro, the former SAS diver is one of the UK’s most accomplished endurance sportsmen.
He was the first person to kayak across the North Atlantic from Newfoundland to Ireland in 2001. He achieved this alone and unsupported, with the prevailing wind and currents against him. This 4,800km, 76-day expedition is documented in his book Kayak Across the Atlantic. For ten years, his feat held the world-record for the longest open-water crossing ever undertaken by a kayaker.
In 2004, Peter was part of a four man crew on the Pink Lady, a rowing boat sponsored by the apple brand. The team attempted the fasted row crossing from St John’s, Newfoundland to Falmouth, England. After 39 days at sea and with less than a week to go, the boat was struck by Hurricane Alex and split in two.
Pete saved the lives of his fellow crewmates by diving for the grab bag that contained the satellite phone and then he also dived for the life raft.
In June 2005, he was awarded a bronze medal by the Royal Humane Society in recognition for his bravery on the Pink Lady expedition.
Julian Spicer OBE from the Royal Humane Society commented, “Pete’s bravery in the face of danger was outstanding and his medal is extremely well deserved.”
In the same year, with three others, Peter kayaked around the island of South Georgia, Antarctica, setting the record for the fastest circumnavigation, completed in 13 days.
Peter’s last big nautical adventure in 2009 was a solo row from St John’s, Newfoundland to the Isles of Scilly, to beat the speed record of 64 days. After 42 days he was forced to accept rescue because he was in the path of Hurricane Bill.
In August 2014, Peter completed a 21-day, 15,000 mile trek to all 25 EU capital cities plus three non EU countries. He and a colleague are the only people to have ever achieved such a feat.
Sleeping rough and riding for up to 16 hours a day, he averaged over 700 miles a day despite poor roads, mechanical failures and missed ferries. Between Berlin and Stockholm Pete motorcycled for 26 hours in one stretch, only stopping to refuel.
This adventure, like others, was made possible by Pete’s determination and character.
On the subject of the new business, Peter Bray said, “It’s time to pass on my life’s knowledge to other people who can experience in a safe environment what I’ve found out the hard way.
“I am happiest when on the water or on the mountains. I find nowadays people think communication with other humans is done through technology. I want to take people back to the old way of communicating and enjoying what nature gives us most – the scenery, the fresh air, where the only sound is of nature and at the same time, interacting properly with other people. Without realising it, people can also keep fit and healthy.
“Believe it or not, with a good dose of fresh air while relaxing, people are then set up better for their workdays. We will soon be running ‘technology-free’ adventure weekends. There will be no mobile phones, earpieces or head phones. This will recharge people’s psychological batteries and make them happier people for the weeks to come in whatever business they might do.”