He’s known around the world as a British adventurer, completing what’s been dubbed a “Global Triathlon,”and now James Ketchell is back at it, looking to complete another record.
“There’s two missions,” explained Ketchell. “The first mission and the most important one is to inspire one million young people to pursue their own goals and dreams and of course I have two fantastic charities I am raising money for.
“The second is to set an official world record, because no gyrocopter has ever flown continuously and efficiently around the world.”
Ketchell has spent a decade in and out of the headlines. After surviving a motorcycle crash, he was told he may never walk again, but that didn’t hold the 36-year-old back.
He rowed across the Atlantic Ocean in 110 days, cycled through 20 counties, averaging 100 miles a day, and if that wasn’t enough, Ketchell also summited Mount Everest.
“I just focus on the things I’m passionate about and trying to inspire [people] to get up and go and pursue their own goals and dreams, whatever they may be,” explained Ketchell after landing at the Region of Waterloo International Airport.
His adventure began in March, when he took off from Popham Airfield in Hampshire on a trip that will take him through France, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and into Russia.
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He crossed the Bering Strait to Alaska, and then it was off to the United States and Canada.
As he makes his way around the world, he’s sharing stories of adventure with children and youth while raising money for “Over the Wall” and “Kindled Spirit.”
“The hardest part is taking the first step and believing you can do it,” said Ketchell, who is about one month away from completing his latest adventure.
His gyrocopter caught the attention of other pilots at the airport who say Ketchell deserves a hand.
“My initial thought was, ‘wow, that is a small craft to be going around the world in,’” explained Nick Mermuys, an American pilot.
“Just think of the distance crossing the Atlantic Ocean in that. That’s going to be a long time, it’s going to be low and slow and not a whole lot to look at.”
Ketchell says he’s met so many people from across the globe, explaining that no matter what and no matter where, good people are everywhere.
“The one thing I can leave you with is 99.9 per cent of people on this planet are kind, amazing, generous, caring, and Canada is no exception,” Ketchell said.