James Ketchell: Biography highlights

James Ketchell or ‘Captain Ketch’ is a serial adventurer, motivational speaker and Scouting ambassador.

Known for:

Adventurers and Explorers

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Full biography of James Ketchell

James Ketchell’s Background

James is the first and only person to have rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, climbed to the summit of Mount Everest and cycled 18,000 miles around the world, all after suffering a serious accident that threatened his future. He uses all his activities to promote the charities he is involved with and is now writing a book about his adventures.

  • Only person to complete the ‘super triathlon‘
  • Overcame a serious motorcycle accident that left him with broken legs
  • Believes you can achieve any goal by breaking it into small steps

James talks with honesty and enthusiasm about the incredible challenges he has taken on in his life. Audiences find him to be both an inspirational adventurer and an approachable person.

James is a survivor who has overcome adversity to pursue a life of challenge and adventure. Several years ago he was involved in a serious motorcycle accident that left him with broken legs and a severely broken and dislocated ankle. He was told that he would suffer from a permanent walking impairment and would not be able to continue as before.

He talks with candour and enthusiasm about his response to that challenge, setting small achievable goals that allowed him to inch back towards health, pulling in support and making valuable contacts and friends as he went.

He talks about the places he has been and the extraordinary people he has met in particular the Sherpas who assisted him on Everest and one in particular who helped him off the mountain when he developed a severe lung infection during the descent.

Using his own experiences, demonstrates that we all have the potential to achieve difficult goals by breaking the task down into small steps – an approach that has huge relevance to the business world.

As he neared the summit of Everest, James learned that the last few hundred metres are completed just ten steps at a time an approach that lies at the heart of his success and has seen him through an unsupported global cycle covering over 18,000 miles in seven months.

In April 2015 he rowed 3,600 miles across the Indian Ocean with Scout leader and epilepsy sufferer Ashley Wilson to raise awareness of the condition.


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Available for:

After Dinner Engagement

Watch James in action

1/4 videos
FROM THE HOSPITAL TO EVEREST | True Geordie Podcast #90
FROM THE HOSPITAL TO EVEREST | True Geordie Podcast #90
James Ketchell - Pushing The Limits - PART 1/2 | London Real
James Ketchell - Pushing The Limits - PART 1/2 | London Real
James Ketchell Motivational Speaker... Showreel
James Ketchell Motivational Speaker... Showreel
James Ketchell: The Ultimate Triathlon Book Launch
James Ketchell: The Ultimate Triathlon Book Launch
Avis UK

James is an engaging and exciting speaker. His story is a unique one combining personal challenge, adventure, adversity and achievement. I can thoroughly recommend James as his story is authentic and relevant to a business audience, whether large or small. He leaves you to draw your own conclusions in a witty and often understated way, which makes it all the more appealing and different. James is not your typical motivational speaker, but rather a very motivated speaker!'

Anthony Ainsworth
Commercial Director
SO2 Leadership RMA Sandhurst Military Academy

'James was asked to speak about leadership challenges he had experienced during his various expeditions. He delivered a well-structured presentation with enthusiasm and confidence and was able to draw the audience into the excitement of each of his adventures. James was very approachable throughout and was eager to engage with and answer questions from the audience during and after his presentation. His self-discipline and self-motivation was clear throughout and he is an inspiration to all who were present.'

Major MT Cansdale MBE PARA
Royal Bank of Scotland

'James was invited to speak at the bi-annual RBS Portfolio Management Conference and, drawing upon his various experiences and challenges, James was able to relate his talk in a highly effective style to the conference theme. By using a visual presentation full of breathtaking photos and videos that really brought home the scale of the challenge that James undertook, combined with James' natural, easy going style, he was able to establish a strong rapport with the audience and bring his experiences on Mount Everest to life.'

Paul Brosnahan
Head of Portfolio Management

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