YOU would think climbing Mt Everest three times would be enough of an accomplishment for any man.
But having conquered Everest, most recently in 2016, Kevin Farebrother now wants to vanquish wind and waves as well.
The 49-year-old fireman from Kinross has signed up to sail in the Golden Globe race 2018, a re-creation of the first solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the globe 50 years ago.
Entrants have to use boats and equipment similar to those used in that first race.
The Golden Globe sail is not for the faint-hearted. Thirty sailors will depart from Plymouth in England in June 2018 and sail 30,000 miles solo and non-stop around the globe without modern equipment such as electronics or satellite-based navigational aids.
Sextant and stars. And notepaper. A ham radio. That’s about it.
To put it in perspective, more people climb Mt Everest in one season than have ever circumnavigated the globe solo, non-stop and unassisted.
It is a big race and it is expensive – so expensive that Mr Farebrother sold his house in Butler to fund himself and is now living with a friend in Kinross.
“Yes, I know that’s pretty extreme but the way I look at it, I’ve only got one life to live so I’d better use it to fulfil my dreams,” he said.
Coming from Manchester, the quiet and unassuming WA firefighter admits that Mt Everest was never part of the equation in the early days, but after school he found himself in the British Army, eventually serving with the SAS.
This cemented his love for the outdoors and taught him the skills required to navigate and survive in the mountains.
So how did a firefighter from Kinross end up climbing the world’s highest mountain and put himself down to race what is one of the world’s most gruelling ocean races after learning to sail only five years ago?
“I discovered that pushing myself to my limits mentally and physically was what I enjoyed,” he said.
This year, in between the mountain climbing and holding down his job, he received an email from a friend saying: “This is for you – the Golden Globe race 2018”.
“Of course he knew I would bite,” Mr Farebrother said.
He will start a GoFundMe page to help finance his race.
Expedition organising has become his passion and having recently become an ambassador for Macpac Outdoor Clothing and Equipment, he is excited about the future. You might say he’s in his element.
“I’ve found that inspiring people and helping them achieve their dreams is just as satisfying as achieving my own. I’m always planning the next adventure, which for now is 29,000 feet up and 29,000 miles around. A summit of Mt Everest followed by the GGR all next year.”
His boat is being refurbished for the race. “While the boat is being prepared it’s important for me to prepare mentally,” he said.
“In the mountains it’s as much about your mental state as it is your physical state, but in the case of the GGR it’s more about your mental strength. To be alone for nine months at sea is as hard as it gets!
“This is way out of my depth but that’s how I like it.”
So what inspires Mr Farebrother to push himself to the limit physically and mentally in the toughest elements nature can muster?
“You’re never more alive than when you’re nearly dead,” he said.
Like the Golden Globe Race, his outlook on life is not for the faint-hearted.