St Albans Paralympian smashed world record rowing Atlantic Ocean

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 February 2018

Left to right: Captain Jon Armstrong, Jordan Beecher. Picture: Blesma

Left to right: Captain Jon Armstrong, Jordan Beecher. Picture: Blesma

Archant

An inspirational Paralympian with only one leg has rowed the Atlantic Ocean in world record-breaking time.

St Albans army vet Jordan Beecher, 28, and fellow teammate Jon Armstrong, 31, crossed the finish line of the 3,000 mile rowing race from La Gomera to Antigua in just 37 days - three days faster than the former world record.

The duo, Team Titan, won the pairs entry of the gruelling Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge with only three legs between them, against eight other teams of able-bodied people.

In 2012 Jordan was on his third deployment in Afghanistan when he stepped on an improvised explosive device which blew off his leg 12cm below the knee.

Although the Marlborough School alumnus had to leave his vocation in the Parachute Regiment, he has since won four Invictus Games gold medals, trained with the GB rowing team and competed in the Henley Royal Regatta.

This latest challenge was to raise £100,000 for Blesma The Limbless Veterans, which supported Jordan after the injury, sick children’s holiday charity Dreamflight, and the Gurkha Brigade Association.

To complete the particularly demanding challenge, which fewer people have accomplished than climbed Mount Everest, they had to row in two hour shifts, 24 hours a day, for nearly 40 days.

Jon and Jordan suffered chronic fatigue and overcame capsizing to beat the world record.

Jordan’s mum, Michelle Irving, said they were thrilled: “It’s brilliant. It hasn’t really sunk in yet, it’s all a bit surreal.

“It’s just amazing and he looked so well when he came off the boat even though he had been through all the traumas.”

She said Jordan was wobbly and tired when they sailed into harbour, but otherwise looked “fantastic”.

The runners up, The Ordinary Boys, were only two hours behind Jon and Jordan.

Chief Executive of Blesma, Barry Le Grys, sponsored Team Titan’s entry: “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.”

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