All-women team sets out on world record canoeing bid

1 February 2018: Three female adventurers aim to set a new world record as the first team to canoe the length of the Essequibo river – one of the last great unexplored wonders of the world.

three women in canoes

Throughout the 630 mile (1,014 km), two-month challenge starting today, Laura Bingham, Pip Stewart and Ness Knight will rely on Inmarsat to stay connected with the outside world. A compact Explorer 510 BGAN terminal will allow them to share their experience in words, images and video. For peace of mind, they will also carry an IsatPhone 2 satellite phone, which will pinpoint their location and allow them to call for assistance at the touch of a button.

“Technology is such an important part of our everyday lives, but taking it into unusual situations it has the capability to help open your eyes to the incredible beauty of the world and enable you to travel further than you ever thought possible,” said Pip.

Uncharted river

Starting in the Acarai Mountains, southern Guyana, the Essequibo twists through virgin rainforest, uncharted rapids and the occasional gold mining camp until it meets the Atlantic Ocean. A significant portion of the upper river has never been navigated.

None of the team is a stranger to extreme challenges. Laura has cycled 4,350 miles (7,000 km) unsupported across South America and has sailed across the Atlantic. Pip’s cycling exploits include a 10,000 mile (16,000 km) ride from Kuala Lumpur to London and pedalling the entire Transamazonian highway. All-rounder Ness is the first woman to swim the River Thames from source to sea, has cycled 2,000 miles (3,220 km) solo across the Namib Desert, and completed 15 marathons in 15 days.