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About Debra Searle

adventurer and motivational speaker

Debra is most known for her public speaking and books in the rowing and business life genre.

Debra Searle’s Social Media Profiles

Introduction to Debra Searle My Story

Debra Searle, is a British adventurer and motivational speaker. The 45 year old, born on 8th July 1975 is a well known author in the UK as well as a television presenter. Alone, she has rowed all the way across the Atlantic.

Debra is most known for her public speaking and books in the rowing and business life genre. Her most popular books are Rowing it Alone and The Journey: How To Achieve Against The Odds, published in 2002 and 2007 respectively.

“Take encouragement from how far you’ve come, not how are you have left to go.” – Debra Searle

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Debra Searle Personal History

In 1975, in Plymouth Debra was born with her twin sister named Hayley Barnard. Both of the girls were adopted as babies by Christine and Robin Newbury, they also have brothers who are older. In Dartmoor, Searle went to Stover School, this is where she started doing different expeditions such as the Duke of Edinburgh award and Ten Tors. She went to De Montfort University where she studied physical education and specialised in outdoor education, graduating with a 1st class degree. She also received several qualifications as an outdoor instructor, in 2004 she gained an Honorary MA by the university.

In 1999, Debra married her husband however in 2004, they later got a divorce. Since then, she remarried, they now live in Plymouth with their two children. Furthermore, in 2002, she was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire. In 2014, she was given an MVO due to her effective work in relation to the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Debra Searle Professional Career

In Devon, at St Margarets school, Debra was a physical education teacher, then she moved to Claremont Fan Court School in Surrey. In 1999, after founding the company Well Hung Art with friends she left her job as a teacher. This promoted the art of smaller artists on the internet and would sell original art pieces in the corporate industry.

In 2004, Searle shut the company to concentrate on another company called Shoal projects ltd, this had been established two years prior with Hayley her twin sister. This company runs Searles adventures as well as related media, motivational work and publishing including other adventurers and sports people. From 2002, Debra has taken part in many adventurous challenges and expeditions and has had many roles as TV presenter, mostly for BBC. Furthermore, she is a very popular motivational speaker and has contributed to several newspapers and books.

In 2014, Debra and Barnard, her business partner opened a consultancy firm called MIX Diversity Developer Ltd who specialise in inclusion and diversity, cultural change and unconscious bias. The team for BBC Extreme Lives approached Searle about making a documentary based on her row through the Atlantic and her Yukon river quest expedition. She said yes to this and invited her friend Bruce to go with her on a canoe race round the territory of Yukon. Consequently, from her BBC radio 4 interview and Extreme Lives appearance Debra was partnered with a BBC talent manager then began presenting. On channel 5, Sail TV, ITV and BBC, she has presented over 40 programmes.

Debra has also written books, her first was named Rowing it Alone published in 2002. The book discusses how herself and her husband Andrew went to Tenerife on a rowing boat. After two weeks, her husband dropped out of the challenge when he realised he was extremely scared of open water. Debra carried on and she single handedly rowed the entire Atlantic. She spent three months on the sea alone where she experienced loneliness, support, nature’s beauty, tranquility and gruelling work. In this book, Debra’s insights and reflections about her marriage are shared in this book along with the discovery of herself and her strengths.

Her second book was published in 2007 called The Journey: How to Achieve Against the Odds. When Debra and her former husband signed up to rowing across the Atlantic challenge, it was not how she pictured it as Andrew wanted to go back to shore. At the time Debra was only a novice rower so this was a very challenging experience and her limits were tested both physically and psychologically. The same thing happened with other rowers however, Debra was the only one who made it to the finish on her own. In this book she writes about how she felt throughout the journey and it explores the methods and techniques she used to stay determined and motivated to finish despite everything that was against her. This book is ultimately about even if the odds are against you, you can still achieve a lot.

Debra Searle Teaching and Events

Debra hosts a podcast called Expert Speaking Made Simple, this helps others with their speaking skills in public. In addition, she offers several training courses for professional and amateur speakers on the website named YourSpeakingCareer.com.

Debra speaks with passion and humour about her self discovery journey and what strategies helped her along the way. Messages include: attitude, strategies for excelling in changing times, productivity and motivation and teamwork.

Debra Searle Books & Publications

Debra Searle has written a number of best selling books

Self Help

Rowing it Alone

When Debra Searle and her former husband Andrew Veal entered the 3,000 mile Atlantic Rowing Race they believed that their profound knowledge of each other would give them the edge over the other – mainly male – competitors.

Self Help

The Journey

During their first night in open waters they were confronted with a discovery that would leave their transatlantic bid in tatters: Andrew, an experienced rower, was suffering from an uncontrollable fear of the ocean.

What Can Debra Searle Do For You Personally







319 Wilmslow Rd, Heald Green, Cheadle, SK8 3PW


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