Tag Archives: Nikki Curwen

Our year so far…


We’re glad to say, 2015 has been quite a year – and for all the right reasons!

There’s nothing better than reflecting on the past 12 months and thinking: “Yes! We achieved so much in those 52 weeks!” and feeling proud, nostalgic, and inspired for the New Year.

As always, we’ve had our fair share of monkeying around and living the high life – if we were to list ALL of our most memorable moments, this blog post would turn into something resembling a short novel. So, we’ve come up with a few of our super-duper proud memories to share with you as the year draws to a close…

Ben Fogle This Morning#ShareAdventure campaign

We had to start off this list with our phenomenal #ShareAdventure campaign, which really was a resounding success! Launching in the summer, we set about to spread adventure across the nation by encouraging you to share your adventurous moments through your Instagram snaps. You showed us you were quite an adventurous bunch!

Ben Fogle also supported the campaign, talking to us directly about his own adventures. “Each one defines me as a person,” he said. “Adventure maketh the person.” We couldn’t agree more, Ben!

Tree top wedding – and engagement!

Go Ape WeddingLove was well and truly in the (very fresh) air at Go Ape this year! A lovely couple from Southampton said their vows 40 feet off the ground in the tree tops of Go Ape Aberfoyle, and the bride even wore a custom-made dress that was designed to incorporate the Go Ape harness!

A huge congrats also to Ollie and Selina – Ollie recently popped the question at Go Ape Forest of Dean! Luckily, he wasn’t barking up the wrong tree and Selina said YES! What can we say? We’re a place where dreams come true!

Our 5 millionth customer!

Our 5 millionth customer means we need to say 5 million whopping enormous “thank yous” to all you lovely people who have chosen to live life adventurously at Go Ape. Back in August, Claire Haigh became the official 5 millionth customer to join our tribe, so we surprised her with a troop of Gorillas, accompanied by a live rendition of the Jungle Book’s ‘King of the Swingers’. Inflatable bananas, of course, made an appearance too! Here’s to the next 5 million! If you missed it check out the video below:

Sponsoring Nikki Curwen’s Transatlantic Voyage

We were super honoured to be the official lead sponsor for Nikki Curwen’s 2015 transatlantic voyage. Covering over 3,000 miles of sailing in her Mini 747 dinghy, we were so proud of her for coming 12th out of 43, and finishing the first woman. Nikki is an adventurer through and through, so for Go Ape to sponsor her seemed more than a perfect match. Re-live her journey here.

Battersea Park opening

Finally, you may have heard us mention it once or twice – that’s because we are SO excited to announce that our Go Ape Battersea Park officially opened this month! We can’t believe there is now a Go Ape in the centre of London – and the highest obstacle crossings are double the height of most Go Ape courses. Are you up for the challenge?Battersea Park Tree Top Adventure

As you can see, there’s been plenty to shout from the tree tops about. But let’s not forget something: there’s still a couple of weeks left of 2015… which means there’s plenty more time to squeeze in another adventure or two!

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

Nikki Curwen on Staying Mentally Prepared

Nikki Curwen

Former Go Ape employee, and current Offshore Racer, Nikki Curwen has been working towards competing in the Mini Transat for the past three years.

Now in the second leg of the race, Nikki tells us what it takes to stay mentally prepared…

“When solo, particularly in a race like the Mini Transat where you’re at sea by yourself for days at a time. The race is more about mental preparation and mental strength. There is no-one else there to keep you motivated, no-one there to judge you so it can be quite easy to become lazy and demotivated. The boat is very technical, with a lot of preparation, and on going work required to keep her running 100%.

Nikki Curwen Offshore RacingIt’s raining, freezing cold, the boat seems to be going well…what’s going to convince you to get on deck and take the helm, to push and get that extra 0.5kt of boat speed?

Sailing for days, looking at the same horizon, heading in the same direction. The sun goes up and down, days go by with nothing very different happening, as the boat rolls down the waves, taking me with her.

For some this might sound like torture, but for me, there’s something quite nice about it. The feeling of being completely alone and doing something I love. Sailing has always been my freedom, where I have complete control and I can just be myself.

If ever I feel down or de motivated I just have to remind myself where I am, what I’m doing, then maybe blast my music out full volume and have a sing along. It doesn’t take much….!

I’ve got a collection of notes, drawings and photos on board from friends and family, which is always a good motivation booster. While I’m solo on the boat, I couldn’t have made it to the start without all the help from my ever-growing team around me. When I first started campaigning for the Transat it was my own personal goal and dream. That’s now changed I really feel like I’m out here for everyone following me as well. The support is truly overwhelming and definitely keeps me motivated.”

In the coming weeks we’ll be posting more insight direct from Nikki about the first leg of the Mini Transat, including the build up and start day.

Jerome Goes Offshore Racing

Jerome Mayhew Sailing

We’ve been following Nikki Curwen as she prepares for her mammoth Mini Transat race – a 4,000 mile solo race across the Atlantic. Not shy at a bit of adventure, Jerome Mayhew, our Managing Director, joined Nikki on little excursion:

“Ex-Go Ape instructor Nikki Curwen got in touch with us to tell us about her amazing project to compete in the 2015 Mini-Transat race.  The “transat” stands for transatlantic and the “Mini” for the size of the boat – just 21’ (6.5m) long.  There is only room for one person, and that is only if you don’t mind not being able even to sit up straight.  

Having been inspired by Nikki’s determination to live life adventurously we became her title sponsor for her campaign and yesterday I got to have a go on the boat!  


With wind gusting gale force 8 Nikki headed straight out into the thick of it.  Up went the gennaker and we took off, except when my steering skills failed to avoid ramming the waves in front.  Have a look at this clip to see what happy looks like.”

Looking good Jerome!

Follow Nikki as she prepares for her next big adventure, with no phones and no computers, just paper charts.


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