An amputee war veteran has just set the record time for rowing across the Atlantic in what is branded the world’s toughest endurance race.
Former Para Jordan Beecher and Captain Jon Armstrong became the fastest pair to complete the gruelling crossing as they powered their seven-metre-long boat to the finish line in just 37 days, beating the previous record by around three days.
The pair, who first met in the back of a Land Rover as new recruit Paratroopers on a military exercise on Salisbury Plain, braved mountainous seas and 40C temperatures on the 3,000-mile journey from the Canary Islands to Antigua.
Jordan, a former Lance Corporal in the Parachute Regiment who lost his left leg below the knee to an IED in Afghanistan, and Jon, a Captain in the Royal Gurkha Rifles, took turns at gruelling two-hour shifts around the clock to raise £100,000 for charity.
Jordan, a member of Blesma, The Limbless Veterans charity, lost his left leg to an IED explosion on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, in October 2012.
“Jordan and Jon prepared long and hard. Their comradeship is a huge bonus. We are so pleased it has all come together this way. They have proved the worth of positive and thorough thinking, and strong will” said Barry Le Grys, Chief Executive of Blesma, which sponsored the pair’s entry in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
The pair were among 25 teams – with crews of between one and four – who started rowing on December 12 and kept going through Christmas and New Year. They hit the front of the pairs category a week out and came in just in front of the Oardinary Boys in a dramatic finish to the race.
Jon, 31, and Jordan, 28, from St. Albans, who won four gold medals at the Invictus Games, trained for six months for the race aiming to raise funds for Blesma, the Royal Gurkha Rifles Trust and Dreamflight charities.
They suffered chronic fatigue, blisters and a capsize on their epic journey into the record books.
To donate to Row2Recovey, go to: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/row2recovery.
Blesma, The Limbless Veterans is the national charity for all limbless service men and women, their widows and dependents. It was formed in the years following the First World War and became a national charity in 1932.
Notes to Editor
Hi-res images can be downloaded from the links below:
About Blesma, The Limbless Veterans
Blesma, The Limbless Veterans is the national charity for all limbless serving and ex-service men and women, their widows and dependants. It is a membership organisation which helps wounded service men and women rebuild their lives by providing rehabilitation activities and welfare support. Their membership includes those who have lost the use of a limb, an eye or the sight of an eye.
Blesma was formed in the years following the First World War and became a national charity in 1932. Blesma today has over 4000 Members and widows. The membership consists of men and women who have served during the Second World War and the many subsequent conflicts and peacekeeping operations since, including the Falklands, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.