On 1st February 2014, James became the first and only person to have rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, successfully summited Mount Everest and cycled 18,000 miles around the world.
Seven years prior to this, he was recovering from a serious motorcycle accident that left him with broken legs as well as a severely broken and dislocated ankle. The prognosis was that he was likely to suffer a permanent walking impairment and would certainly not be able to continue the active physical lifestyle he had enjoyed up to that point.
James has continued pushing boundaries and in 2015 attempted to row 4,000 miles across the Indian Ocean with his Epileptic rowing partner. Their aim was to prove that despite having Epilepsy or a disability there is no barrier to pursuing ones goals. Two hundred and fifty miles offshore James’ rowing partner sustained a head injury resulting in a full-scale ocean rescue that was global news. James found himself clinging to a rope ladder on the side of a 100,000-ton crude oil tanker as he climbed to safety in storm force winds.
James has raised tens of thousands of pounds for his chosen charities as he has climbed, rowed, and cycled his way around the world!
James is also a keen supporter of Scouting and is a Scouting Ambassador
James decided to respond to this challenge in the only way he knew how, and with dogged determination, set about physical tasks that most of us can only imagine experiencing.
In 2010, James rowed single-handed across the Atlantic Ocean.The crossing took a total of 110 days, 4 hours and 4 minutes. He battled freak storms that lasted weeks and run out of food 230 miles from the Caribbean. James did the one thing he knew how to do, he kept going and despite a near miss with an Oil Tanker and an encounter with a flying fish, he made it to Antigua.
In 2011, James reached the summit of Mount Everest.Standing at 8,848m in height, Everest is the one challenge that almost got the better of him. It was on his descent that he realised something was seriously wrong when he could hardly breathe and stand on his own two feet. Thanks to his Sherpa Dorje James returned to Base Camp. Eventually diagnosed with a severe lung infection.
In 2013, James cycled solo and unsupported 18,000 miles around the world.James cycled through 20 different countries and spoke in a school in every country he visited. He averaged just over 100 miles per day and made it back to Greenwich Park on 1st February 2014. James was more proud of the fact that he had motivated 10,000 young people to pursue their own goals and dreams than the achievement of cycling the world itself.
The key message that James reveals from completing this “ultimate triathlon” is that we can all potentially set ourselves difficult goals and achieve them: the capability to succeed is within everyone.
Working for Others
James is now extending his involvement with schools and other organisations through a planned programme of motivational talks and interactive engagements.
James is also one of Hampshire’s Scouting Ambassadors, the role of whom is to raise the profile of scouting in a positive manner. There are 22,000 scouts in Hampshire with a further 5,000 waiting to become scouts, subject to more volunteers becoming available.
The ELIFAR Foundation and Over The Wall are two charities that James continues to support as an ambassador.