A WORLD-FAMOUS adventurer from Swindon is about to tackle his greatest challenge to date - sailing solo across the Atlantic in his 60s.

Sir David Hempleman-Adams' fearless expeditions have inspired Bear Grylls and Ben Fogle. Now the 62-year-old will set sail from Southampton in May on the Voyage of Discovery for a perilous 35-day journey to New York.

The record-breaking explorer has travelled all over the globe but is a rather inexperienced sailor and will put his new skills to the test by staying awake for the first 72 hours of his journey to navigate the busy shipping waters around England's south coast.

Sir David said: "For me, this is a bigger challenge than climbing Everest. I know it will be very physically and mentally demanding, and will be made more difficult by the fact that I am in my 60s, but I've been training daily to prepare for the adventure ahead.

"At 62 years old and about to sail the Atlantic alone, I think I am living proof that age is only a number.."

Sir David is the first person in history to reach the geographic and magnetic North and South Poles as well as climb the highest peaks in all seven continents. His latest challenge will raise money for St John Ambulance.

He has been an advocate of the volunteer-led health charity for more than 25 years and became a trustee in 2012. He hopes his journey on the high seas facing unpredictable weather and long periods of isolation will encourage others to support the charity and inspire them to try something new by stepping out of their comfort zone.

He added: "We can all go on a voyage of discovery, whether it's learning new skills, gaining new experiences or meeting new people – just find something that inspires you

"As a trustee for St John's Ambulance, I am really driven to raise awareness of the valuable work the charity and its volunteers do in supporting their communities and the NHS."

St John Ambulance chief executive Martin Houghton-Brown hopes his journey will be a huge success. Mr Houghton-Brown said: "We are one of the few charities where younger and older people volunteer alongside each other with equal skills.

"I believe that Sir David's courageous expedition will inspire many across the generations to seek a new adventure for themselves. We are fortunate to have Sir David as an ambassador for our charity and his passion for St John is shared by our incredible volunteers, many of whom came to us on their own journeys of self-discovery."

Find out more about Sir David's journey by visiting sja.org.uk/discovery or following the #DiscoverSJA hashtag on social media.