OPINION: True steel of Sheffield’s heroic adventurer John Beeden

John Beeden at sea
John Beeden at sea

It is a true Boy’s Own adventure - a feat few would even dream of and no-one has previously managed to complete.

Sheffield man John Beeden has written his name into the history books by becoming the first person to row alone non-stop across the Pacific.

John Beeden

John Beeden


Voyage of a lifetime puts Sheffield man in history books

Sheffield man becomes first person to complete solo row across the Pacific

It is testament to his true Sheffield steel and Yorkshire grit that he kept going when others would have given up after being blown hundreds of miles off-course by bad weather and enduring weather ranging from scorchingly hot sunshine to frightening storms in a boat that was just six metres long.

The incredible statistics go some way to helping to tell the story of this extraordinary adventurer who has gone from Woodseats to worldwide fame as a result of his unique achievement.

Over the course of his 209 days at sea, John rowed an estimated 6,500 nautical miles, rowing almost three million strokes and burning about 810,000 calories in the process.

But they do not reveal the physical and mental exhaustion he must have felt, alone on the ocean for months.

Nor do they explain the incredible memories he must have made as he encountered dolphins, flying fish and sharks on his voyage.

When asked why he decided to take on the challenge, Mr Beeden quoted John Fairfax, the first man to row solo across the Atlantic in 1969.

As Fairfax put it, “The quest to prove worthy of an almost inconceivable challenge is our greatest reward.

“To us it is not the final result that matters but how we measure up to our self-imposed task to confront and do battle with Nature at its rawest.

“To test what we are made of, that is our pursuit.”

There is absolutely no doubt John Beeden has proved himself worthy after completing an amazing journey that began back in June.

After setting off with no fanfare from San Francisco in the summer, waved off by his wife and a friend, John arrived at his final destination in Australia to be greeted by the world’s media after his amazing story captured imaginations across the globe.

John is now preparing to see in the New Year with his family in Sydney - and if anyone deserves a glass raised to them as midnight strikes tomorrow for their achievements this year, it is him.

Congratulations John, from all at The Star.

We look forward to seeing what you do next.