Charlie Martell

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Charles Edward Martell MA FRGS (24 November 1970), is an English ocean rower and humanitarian worker who lives in Gloucestershire.

Education and early Army career[edit]

Martell attended Cheltenham College and Gordonstoun, before joining the British Army and serving in the Royal Engineers. He successfully completed the Royal Marines All Arms Commando Course, after which he first saw active service in the Persian Gulf during the first Gulf War. At the end of the war, he participated in Operation Safe Haven, one of the UK's first military-humanitarian efforts. Later tours included deployment to Bosnia and Northern Ireland as well as numerous military exercises overseas.

Post-Army career[edit]

Having trained as an Army bomb disposal specialist,[1] Martell combined this with his interest in humanitarian efforts to start work with the British-based mine-clearance charity the HALO Trust. His postings have included Cambodia, Angola, Mozambique and the Republic of Georgia. He now specialises in helping communities affected by explosive remnants of war. In January 2011 he was awarded an MA in Post-Conflict Resolution, from the University of York, following work in Afghanistan and with the United Nations in Nepal. He is now a Captain in the Army Reserve (formerly the Territorial Army).

Adventure challenges[edit]

Martell's first major expedition was as a member of the three-man team 'Commando Joe', who took part in the 2005 Polar Challenge ski-race to the North Pole, finishing the 320-mile journey in a time of 9 days, 3 hours and 17 minutes.[2] The following year he recruited three further Commandos to join him in rowing the North Atlantic Ocean between New York and Mevagissey, Cornwall, UK, in the boat Mount Spirit.[3][4] The journey took 85 days and the team earned two Guinness World Records on completion.[5][6] Together the two challenges raised more than £250,000 for the Meningitis Trust.

Current challenges[edit]

On 4 May 2012 Martell departed Choshi, Japan, in his boat Blossom.[7][8] He intends to row across the North Pacific Ocean to San Francisco, USA, to become the first person to make the crossing alone and wholly unsupported.

Martell's first Pacific Ocean solo row was brought to a premature end in June 2012, after he encountered the downgraded Typhoon 'Mawar'. Martell and his boat, Blossom, was recovered from the ocean by a passing vessel, the MV Last Tycoon.

Martell, with the support of Hesco, Frobishers, PACE Networks and Gloucester Biltong, will depart Japan in 2018, once again aboard his solo ocean rowing boat Blossom to cross the North Pacific Ocean.


  1. ^ "Preparing for a 'long lonely walk'". BBC News. 3 November 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Commando Joe Polar Challenge result". BBC News. 6 May 2005. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "UK commandos aim to row Atlantic". BBC News. 10 June 2006. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Cirencester man to tackle Atlantic rowing challenge". Wilts and Glos Standard. 8 June 2006. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Ocean Rowing Society: Completed Ocean Rows". Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Territorial commandos set Atlantic rowing record". Harrow Times. 2 October 2006. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Pacific 2012 record attempt has begun". Cowes Online. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Pacific rower's Diamond Jubilee message to the Queen". ITN News. 3 June 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 

External links[edit]