Serial Adventurer, Motivational Speaker and Scouting Ambassador.
James Ketchell > Adventurer

James, is more commonly known for the completion of three endurance undertakings, that early on became recognised as the “Ultimate Triathlon”, a term that was labelled by the media and has stuck ever since, with his first book taking the very same title.

More recently, In 2019 and with only two years of flying experience he secured his name into the record books after flying his gyroplane around the world in 175 days.

However there are many more adventures under this man’s belt that make up an impressive adventure CV, and in some cases almost costing his life!

Adventure Timeline

Atlantic Ocean Row

Rowed solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 110 days 4 hours & 4 minutes. Crossing from La Gomera to Antigua in the Caribbean.


Sailed from Antigua to Horta in the Azores as a crew of five on board a 54 yacht.


Climbed Island Peak in the Himalayas and trekked to Everest Base camp

Mt Everest

Successfully reached the summit of Mt Everest on 16th May, despite suffering with pneumonia diagnosed on return to UK.


Cycled 3,000 miles across the USA from San Diego to Miami


Failed attempt to climb Himalayan mountain Ama Dablam, due to sickness.

World Cycle

Cycled 18,000 miles around the world in six months, visiting schools on route.

Indian Ocean

Failed attempt to row across the Indian Ocean from Geraldton Western Australia to Matrious. Rescued 500nm from Australian coast.

River Thames

Kayaked the length of the River Thames

Atlantic Ocean Pedalo

Failed attempt to pedalo across the Atlantic Ocean, rescued mid ocean, when expedition partner became unwell.

2016 Solo row around Great Britain.

Failed attempt to row solo around Great Britain due to sickness.

Solo 3,000 miles cycle

Cycled 3,000 miles around the coast of Great Britain.

24,000 nautical miles Autogyro

Completed the first Fédération Aéronautique Internationale ratified circumnavigation of the globe in a gyroplane in 175 days flying 24,000 nautical miles.

See the route James flew here

Part of a small team skiing 400 miles across the Greenland Ice Cap

We will start on the West from Kangerlussuaq and finish in Isortoq.

It will be a tough endeavour with temperatures regularly falling to -20C.

Go there: Adventure Videos

James Ketchell Greenland 2022

The Expedition

In May 2022, I will be part of a small team skiing 400 miles across the Greenland Ice Cap. We will start on the West from Kangerlussuaq and finish in Isortoq.

It will be a tough endeavour with temperatures regularly falling to -20C. I will be travelling unsupported which means I have to pull all my food and kit in a pulk (like a sled), which at the beginning of the expedition will weigh almost 100kg.

Greenland is the largest island on Earth; measuring 2,900 kilometres long and 1,100 kilometres wide.

Working with Oddizzi – the online Geography resource provider for primary schools – I will be taking young people on a virtual field trip; sharing the journey via a tracking link so that schools can track my progress.

This link will be updated here 30 days before the expedition stars on the 1st May.

I will also be calling schools from a satellite phone, answering questions as I go and giving an insight into the human and physical geographical features of Greenland to support children’s learning with a sense of fun and adventure – something much needed after the past two years.

The Charity

I am also using the expedition to raise as much money as I can for my chosen charity, Kindled Spirit

I feel a deep connection with Kindled Spirit. The charity was set up during my ‘Around the World Cycle Ride’ when its founder and one of my sponsors, Richard Cribb, paid me a visit in India during the challenge. Whilst in the country, he read a book about the exploitation of vulnerable, young women inspiring him to act and set up Kindled Spirit to help women achieve hope and freedom.

Working with its charity partner in Mumbai (Kshamat) – who run the ‘operations on the ground’- Kindled Spirit achieves great things by supporting, educating and empowering vulnerable young women to believe in themselves. The guidance and training they receive helps them to enter the job market in a vocation of their choosing.

The results are amazing – please read Pradnya’s story below.

How you can help

Everyone can make a difference and we are asking you to undertake a fundraising challenge either personally or with your friends, family or school mates.

Will you hold a cake sale or coffee morning? Get your Saturday morning Park Run sponsored? Run round the school field? Do press ups? Hold a non-uniform day at school or challenge yourself to meet new friends?   Whatever you decide to do please wear something ORANGE when carrying out the challenge, as this is the colour theme running through the challenge, and don’t forget to shout about what you are doing through social media!  YOU CAN make a difference to some of the most vulnerable young people in our global society.

School fundraising pack to download – click here.

If you are unable to undertake a challenge of your own, please consider sponsoring me as I undertake my own personal challenge skiing across Greenland.  A donation, however large or small, will be much appreciated and make a real difference to someone’s life. On behalf of myself and Kindled Spirit – thank you for your support.

Pradnya’s story

The best way to illustrate the great work of Kindled Spirit and Kshamata is through a real-life story. Pradnya (name changed) was trafficked to Mumbai against her will. She was rescued 18 months later and referred to the charity. In the early days, she was angry, confused, suffering from malnutrition and homeless. She undertook the residential rehabilitation programme, where it was identified that she had a creative streak. As she progressed, her health, confidence and self-esteem all improved.

Today she is a bright, confident young lady, who has learned to speak English and gained computer skills, providing her with more well-paid options in the job market. She now shares independent accommodation with other young women and has trained in social media, an industry she is currently employed in and an achievement unthinkable just a few years ago.

Pradnya defines the charity’s good work.

This wonderful story has been replicated many times since 2014, with young women entering the workplace in a variety of chosen disciplines, including retail, banking and the police or fire service, experiencing independence and enjoying a fulfilling, self-sufficient life.

Gyrocopter Adventure

We did it!

Setting off on 31st March 2019, I was fortunate enough to witness some of the finest untouched landscapes the planet has to offer.

I often say, “I will be paying favours forwards for the rest of my life” this challenge was no exception; because once again the kindness and generosity of those I met along the way will be something for which I will be forever grateful.

The Journey

My route took me through, France, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and into Russia the largest country on earth, before crossing the Bering Strait to the United States of America.

Now on the North American continent, I flew through Canada and landed in all 49 mainland US states.


The best was yet to come routing high up into Canada to Baffin Island, and across the world largest stepping stones; Greenland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands before heading back to the UK, returning to Popham 175 days after taking off.

The Ultimate Triathlon

The Row

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.

The Climb

In 2011, James reached the summit of Mount Everest.

On his descent he realised something was seriously wrong when he could hardly breathe. Eventually diagnosed with a severe lung infection.

The Cycle

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.