For the past few months, I have been lucky enough to work with Downing Street’s GREAT Campaign as a GREAT Adventure ambassador.
When the team at No.10 invited me to exhibit the boat at the International Festival for Business in Liverpool for 3 weeks, I jumped at the chance. Despite being right smack bang in the middle of my record attempt window, I knew this would be an opportunity that I couldn’t miss.
International Festival for Business 13 June – 1 July 2016
Exhibition Centre Liverpool
The International Festival for Business 2016 is renowned for being the world’s top business event, with over 30,000 delegates from over 100 countries. Having the opportunity to showcase Project Speedbird on this level is something that I could only dream of. Unlike being at the Boat Show or the Science museum, visitors to IFB are there to make connections, do deals and inspire each other to challenge the way business is done, with a focus on innovation and development in a world that never stands still.
Innovation and challenging convention has been a running thread through the very heart of what I have tried to do with Project Speedbird. I was featured on the Great Innovation showcase stand, alongside some incredible other projects, which should not go without recognition: Beattie Wolf, musician and innovator; James and Ian from Bamboo Bicycle Club and Liz Seward from Airbus and her incredible exploration vehicle designed for Mars.
Hosted in the new Exhibition Centre, Liverpool, which had never been formally opened, it was a task that was bestowed to Her Majesty The Queen. I was lucky enough to be invited to meet with The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, show them the boat and talk to them about Project Speedbird.
Meeting Her Majesty The Queen was a lifelong dream, and one that entirely exceeded expectation. Both Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh were so interested in the project and the boat. We discussed the build, the materials used and the speeds involved, and of course Graham Water which they had recently visited.
Having the boat and project in front of the IFB delegates as well as Her Majesty the Queen was an incredibly humbling moment in this seemingly unending journey. The project has been filled with such highs and lows in the 18 months since its inception. This particular high point provided me a welcome break from the water, which has been the only time off the water apart from my honeymoon.
Not only was the IFB an incredible experience, which has hopefully opened many doors, it was also a very welcome opportunity to take some time away from the water, work on my strength, refocus the team, and look forward to getting back on the water, and most importantly breaking the A500 record.
Hannah White is one of the world’s most exciting extreme adventurers. With a truly authentic adventuring background, Hannah has seamlessly combined her love of extreme challenges with her ability to engage a global audience. Project Speedbird is the name of her latest mission, an attempt to break the 40-knot speed barrier over both 500 metres and one nautical mile.
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