Category Archives: Meet our Tribe

Against the odds…reaching the TOP TEN!

Go Ape Crew View

The finish line is well and truly nigh for our Three Peaks Yacht Race team, who have successfully sailed, cycled and run their way into the top ten in the final leg of the race!

It’s been a challenging week for the Go Ape team who have embodied the very essence of living life adventurously as they’ve made their way north from Barmouth. Demanding weather coupled with engine trouble delayed their journey and led to some very lateral thinking from the team.

Do you know what a broken impeller drive is? No, neither did we, that was until we saw the damage one can cause to an engine! Check out the photo below:

Go Ape Broken Engine Three Peaks Yacht Race

In our leafy world lashings of rope and wire is usually the answer, but the crew had to get a little more ‘technical’…

Fear not, since fixing the engine the team has made a triumphant leap from 12th place to battling it out with some of the UK’s finest endurance race teams within the top ten. With the highest peaks of Wales and England conquered, their journey up the West Coast continues towards Corpach, where the mighty summit of Ben Nevis awaits them.

Go Ape Position in Three Peaks Yacht Race

We’ll be bringing you live updates via Twitter and Facebook – keep following @GoApeTribe for the latest news. Or you can keep an eye on the teams progress via the Three Peaks Yacht Race website here.

The Three Peaks Yacht Race isn’t just for endurance race kudos, the Go Ape team are racing to raise money for a great cause – the Outward Bound Trust.

For every £200 raised, another young person from a disadvantaged background is able to experience the challenge of an Outward Bound course with potentially life changing results. To find out more about the trust, visit https://www.outwardbound.org.uk/.

Please donate to support the tribe as they embark on one of toughest adventure races, just head to our Virgin Money Giving page.

Packing for the Three Peaks Yacht Race

Go Ape Three Peaks Yacht Race

Jerome Mayhew Packing for 3 Peaks Yacht RaceI went to the Three Peaks Yacht Race and in my suitcase I packed…

It’s finally here! There’s officially 24 hours to go until the Three Peaks Yacht Race begins. Our brave Go Ape team of sailors, runners, cyclists and adventurers are all packed and ready to embark on the race of a lifetime.

We’ll be posting photos and videos from the main event to keep you updated with the latest trials, tribulations and victories as the team make their way from Barmouth to Fort William. Including a sneak peak at what Chief Sailor/Skipper, Jerome Mayhew, has packed for the grand voyage:

Of course there’s more than just the departure from Barmouth to deal with, first of all the team had to make their way to the start line. Here’s a first-hand summary from Jerome:

Well, we have passed the first hurdle of the race, which was to get to Barmouth and the start.

He continues,

“The delivery trip has taken Go Ape, Live Life Adventurously from Levington in Suffolk all the way down the South coast of England to Lands End, around and across the Bristol Channel up to Milford Haven and then to the north of Cardigan Bay and Barmouth. Fog enveloped the yacht for the last ten hours of the sail, making landfall at Barmouth a heart in mouth experience. Visibility was less than 100m!

Fog Three Peaks Yacht Race

The final touches are now being put to the boat: runner Ed Smith was sent up the mast this morning, using his Wire Rope Inspection qualification to check the rigging. All superfluous weight has now been removed from the boat and we are getting close to final race configuration. However, most of the time now is being spent in sailing awe of the other competitors. There is an incredibly high standard of racing talent in the fleet, with many professional sailors and specialist boats. It is exciting to be in such company but we have no illusions as to our chances! Pre-match nerves…”

We’re happy to report the fog lifted, treating the team to a spectacular view from the yacht. Here’s hoping conditions remain fair.

Sunny views from Three Peaks Yacht Race

We’ll be posting more updates on the blog across the next week, keep coming back to see what the team has been up to.

Behind forest doors…

About Go Ape

When you’re wobbling across bridges, leaping off platforms and whizzing down zip wires at Go Ape, do you ever wonder just what goes on behind our forest doors?

As you may know, this year we celebrated our 14th birthday. It’s been a roller-coaster ride of adventure and we’ve relished every day, hour, minute and second. Time has flown by – it doesn’t seem that long ago when we were celebrating the opening of our very first Tree Top Adventure in Thetford forest. And now there are Go Ape adventures across the UK and we’ve taken our monkey business stateside!

Our business has grown quicker than we could have ever imagined but through it all, our vision, values and mission have all remained the same. And we believe that’s what’s made us the successful company we are today.

The way we work

We’d be nothing without our hard-working, dedicated tribe. From front-line forest folk to our busy gorillas in Banana HQ, we make sure all our employees enjoy worthwhile and rewarding careers with us. Our tribe share our vision and values – they play a core part in how our tribe carry out their jobs.

So, what is our vision, we hear you ask? Well, it’s simple: to create adventure and encourage people to live life adventurously! This has been our motto from day dot; it was Tris and Becs’ reason for launching Go Ape.

Of course, we’ve got to practice what we preach! But our tribe don’t really need much persuasion to be adventurous. Aside from swinging from tree to tree, our tribe hike, run, cycle, mountain bike, sail, climb, dive…the list goes on. Pretty much any sport or recreational activity you can think of, it’s covered by one of our tribe – we even have a pro roller derby player in our corporate events team!

Our tribe always rises to the challenge of a new adventure, too.

For example, five of the team are currently undertaking gruelling training for the 3 Peaks Yacht Race. As tough as it is long, the 3PYR involves 389 miles of sailing, 72 miles of running and 18 miles of cycling. Suffice to say, it takes a lot more dedication than a bi-weekly trip to the gym. In fact, here’s our Managing Director, Jerome Mayhew rowing a yacht – that’s some power:

We believe that being adventurous inspires others to be adventurous, too. Besides laughter, it’s the only thing we don’t mind being contagious! When people’s eyes are opened to adventure – be it through experiencing Go Ape or by hearing about someone else’s experiences – they feel inspired to get out there and live their lives more adventurously!

Nowadays, too much time is spent indoors watching TV, playing on games consoles and scrolling through social media. There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored and discovered – and we don’t want anyone to waste that opportunity! It’s a given fact: the great outdoors is where the best memories are made.

By living life adventurously, people get to uncover what they are truly capable of.

You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve and the confidence you’ll gain will fuel the fire in your belly to make every day a new adventure.

Doing the right thing is really important to us and we aim to make sure we continue to be socially and environmentally responsible in everything we do. Our goal in the long run? To get everyone swinging from the trees. And if we don’t achieve that, we at least hope to be the best adventure company on the planet!

Nikki Curwen Conquers the Mini Transat

Nikki Curwen Sailing Sunset
Nikki Curwen Profile Photo

Credit: Christophe Breschi

It’s officially over, the 2015 Mini Transat has come to an end, and with it the accolade of being the first woman on complete the gruelling 4,000 mile solo race across the Atlantic.

If you’ve missed our coverage of Nikki competing in the prestigious Mini Transat, where have you been? We’ve learned how to stay mentally prepared for solo sailing, been given a beginners guide to sailing, and even put our Managing Director, Jerome Mayhew, through his paces. As a previous Go Ape instructor, we’re proud of Nikki for continuing to live life adventurously, and thrilled to have had the opportunity to sponsor her journey.

Nikki has been working towards the Mini Transat for the past three years – in order to qualify every skipper needs to complete 1,000 miles of official mini races as well as a 1,000 mile non-stop passage. Only once submitted and assessed by the Classe Mini can an individual enter the race. Having narrowly missed out on the previous Mini Transat, Nikki’s unfaltering determination earned her a place in the 2015 race having eyed up different boats, finding out costs and working out logistics, all before even meeting the racing requirements. Willing to do whatever it took, Nikki worked relentlessly towards raising the necessary funds, including living with parents and friends, and working in bars and restaurants to keep her head above the ground.

Salvation came at the beginning of 2014 when Nikki secured the purchase of Mini 741, a competitive reliable proto while reasonably priced. With a two year loan to help fund the remainder of the boat Nikki was all set and the 2015 dream came alive!

Speaking before the race, Nikki said;

Everyone kept asking if I was nervous, stressed, anxious, and I can honestly say it never hit me, not really. I thought that as I got in the marina it would but as the days got closer to the start I just got more and more excited, an amazing feeling.

With the weather looking perfect on the Start Day, a good omen came as Nikki’s chosen song blared over the sound system. Surrounded by support crews, family, friends of all the skippers, spectator boats, the French Navy, press and helicopters, the bay was buzzing with excitement and the atmosphere was incredible.

Nikki Curwen Go Ape

Credit: Stanislas Thuret

In her arrival interview with Mini Transat îles de Guadeloupe, on speaking about her journey Nikki said “Even in the worst moments, I had fun.”, going on to say;

I think I’ve never talked so much to myself. But I was alone on board. I do not know how to describe it, I just had to conform to my routine. It was unbelievable I have never had low morale, even when I broke my spinnaker. Then I found myself in the driver down for 200 miles.

So, what did Nikki think of her performance?

For me, the most important was to reach the goal. On this side, mission accomplished. It is the culmination of three years of work. I will remember everything, I’m really makes me happy. I will not forget all those sunsets.

Nikki Curwen Mini Transat

Congratulations from the Go Ape Tribe Nikki!

Nikki Curwen Mini Transat Part 2

Credit: Christophe Breschi

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