'Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut' - Ernest Hemingway Over a boozy Sunday lunch, flatmates James Adair and Ben Stenning made a promise to row across the ocean. At first they considered the Pacific, then the Atlantic, but once James Cracknell and Ben Fogle completed the high-profile Atlantic Rowing Race, their thoughts turned to the Indian Ocean, longer and tougher than the Atlantic and having seen fewer people row across its waters than have walked on the Moon. After years of planning and fund raising, they are ready to launch in Spring 2011. Neither James nor Ben had any rowing or sailing experience. To add to this, James had contracted Guillain-Barre syndrome at the age of 14, which had locked his body into total paralysis for three months (while his mind had remained completely active) and which had left him with paralysed feet. This was a challenge that neither man should have ever considered.
James Adair read Modern History at the University of St Andrews. He worked for two years as the editor of the Alderney Journal, perhaps the world's smallest paid-for newspaper, wrote a column in the Guernsey Press and wrote freelance articles for The Times' Books and News sections. To finance his dream of rowing an ocean he took a job as a shipbroker with HSBC in London. In the aftermath of his and Ben's incredible journey, he has returned to shipbrokerage and is currently based in Ghana.