Clive Tully FRGS

Award-winning travel and outdoors writer, photographer and broadcaster Clive Tully is a specialist in adventure travel, and has visited over 70 countries worldwide. He has taken a 90mph ride in a bobsleigh down the Olympic Bob Run in St Moritz, and descended 100ft to the bottom of Windermere in the English Lake District in a submersible. He was the first journalist to fly in a hot air balloon in Soviet Russia, and has led mountain treks in various parts of the world, including in Nepal for British Everest legend Doug Scott CBE. He is the author of 20 books, numerous travel features in national newspapers and magazines, and his exploits have been the subject of several television programmes.

In 1999, Clive Tully became involved in offshore powerboating, as media consultant and on-board journalist / cameraman for the Spirit of Cardiff, a 10 metre Rigid Inflatable Boat which in 2002 attempted to break the one and only world record for circumnavigating the globe by powerboat.

Around the world in a powerboat

The attempt didn’t succeed, but Spirit of Cardiff gained a huge following around the world - avidly reading Clive’s daily website updates - as they battled one problem after another. They had to contend with illness, injury, pirates and corrupt officials. They had guns pointed at them, threats to blow them out of the water in Russia, and unbelievably bad weather which at times threatened to roll the boat. The worst conditions were the 60 feet seas north of Okinawa which nearly rolled them over, and the 50 knot winds (Storm Force 10) in the Caribbean which turned a 1½ day passage from Panama to Jamaica into one which took 5½ days!

Clive Tully and his fellow Spirit of Cardiff crew-mates Alan Priddy and Steve Lloyd hold UIM official world records for the first circumnavigation of the British Isles (Britain, Ireland and all outlying islands bar the Channel Islands and Rockall) by powerboat (June 2000) and the fastest transatlantic crossing New York to Lizard Point (May 2001). Although the circumnavigation record attempt in April to July 2002 was unsuccessful, it nevertheless established 29 port-to-port records, along with an unofficial record for the fastest transit of the Suez Canal.

Clive’s daily website updates, written often in almost impossible conditions, and Confronting Poseidon, his subsequent book about Spirit of Cardiff's epic voyage, were hailed as major contributions to marine journalism.

Read more about Spirit of Cardiff's voyage here

Clive Tully is an experienced public speaker on subjects ranging from the Spirit of Cardiff world record circumnavigation attempt, to adventure travel and the practicalities of enjoying the outdoors.

Team Britannia

Plans are progressing for Clive Tully to rejoin Alan Priddy on a fresh attempt at the powerboat circumnavigation of the world. The 80ft aluminium boat will be a unique design by top UK naval architect Professor Bob Cripps, powered by twin 600hp diesel engines driving waterjets. As before, Clive will be onboard journalist producing daily blog updates, and shooting video for broadcast.

Find out more about Team Britannia here

Musical interlude

Not just a writer and photographer, Clive Tully is also a talented musician. Back in the mid 1970's, Clive was bass player in the Norfolk-based rock band Spiny Norman.

Widely acclaimed at the time as the best band in the region, they performed numerous support gigs with big-name bands, including Judas Priest, John Miles (at the time of his top 10 hit "Music"), Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan, Trapeze, Caravan, Mr. Big, Smokie (when "Living next door to Alice" was a hit the first time round), Geno Washington & the Ram Jam Band, and the German rock giants Can. They even had the unusual honour of supporting a disco - the DJ was legendary "Old Grey Whistle Test" presenter Bob Harris. Record companies were just starting to show interest in signing the band when along came the Sex Pistols, who changed everything. After that, the record companies were only interested in signing similar bands who lacked the ability to play with their instruments in tune.

There followed a number of other bands after Spiny Norman split, which petered out in 1980, when Clive started writing professionally, and Spiny Norman vocalist Mick Hudson joined Switzerland's top rock group, the Steve Whitney Band.

Mick and Clive hadn't met for over 10 years when at the beginning of 1997 they tracked each other down via the internet, and in August Clive visited Mick in Switzerland. Joining the Steve Whitney Band in a special guest spot on stage during their headlining appearance at the Gampel Outdoor Festival, Clive showed he had lost none of his dynamic flair as a rock bass player in front of an audience of some 3,000 people, playing the Alex Harvey classic "Framed", and Spiny Norman's "Dirty Stop Out" (recorded by the Steve Whitney Band on their "Night Fighting" album).

In the same year, Clive also had the pleasure of interviewing for radio and subsequently jamming onstage in Whitehorse (Yukon Territory) with Canadian multi-platinum selling musician Matthew Lien, who, in his main market of Taiwan, even outsells Eric Clapton!

In January 2007 Clive played with top Norwich rock band "Fourplay" at a special performance in the fabled Orford Cellar in Norwich, broadcast live on BBC Radio Norfolk to mark the 40th anniversary of the night Jimi Hendrix played there. The event was also reported on BBC TV's "Look East".

Clive still uses his vintage Gibson Thunderbird bass (limited edition 1976 Bicentennial model), the distinctive growling sound of which has been described as "awesome," and Boris, his stunning limited edition Alembic Spyder, one of just 50 built as a tribute to legendary "The Who" bass player John Entwistle.