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Cash blow for Basingstoke adventurer James Ketchell
HE HAS conquered Everest, rowed the Atlantic and cycled across America – but sadly, there are some things that are beyond the control of intrepid adventurer James Ketchell.
This month, the 31-year-old was hoping to start his latest adventure which would have seen him row the Atlantic again, scale the world’s tallest mountain, and cycle around the world – all within one year.
But the global triathlon has had to be scrapped after his corporate backer, who had pledged to stump up £100,000 to sponsor the expedition, withdrew the cash.
“It is quite frustrating,” said James, from Riverdene, Basingstoke. “It’s gutting to have got so far. But in this climate, companies don’t seem too keen on supporting endeavours like this.
“Expeditions like this are easy – you sleep, walk, climb, row, eat and go to bed. But getting to the start line is the real battle, and I’m the victim of a bit of bad luck at the moment.”
But despite having to shelve his ambitious triathlon, James has been given the green light to cycle around the world, and he remains optimistic that he can find another backer for the other parts of his daredevil adventure before the year is out.
James will set off on his five-month round-the-world bike ride on June 30 from Greenwich in London.
The £20,000 expedition will take James through mainland Europe, as well as Iran, Indian, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. On the way, he plans to stop and give a talk to schoolchildren in every country he visits.
He will ride solo and unsupported. All his equipment will be carried in panniers, and his only flying will be to cross the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
He is currently working with schools in Hampshire and getting youngsters to help him plan his final route.
“I am getting itchy feet and am looking forward to going,” added James. “Cycling around the world is pretty tough at the end of the day so it will be a good challenge.”
His cycling challenge will add to his growing list of impressive accomplishments. He rowed across the Atlantic solo in 2010, climbed to the top of Everest in July 2011, and last year successfully cycled 2,700 miles across America in 22 days.