Adventurer’s Guinness World Record achievements

Ian Couch, at the Gobi Desert.

Ian Couch, at the Gobi Desert. - Credit: Archant

For most people, one Guinness World Record would be achievement enough. But adventurer Ian Couch, from Stow Bedon, did not stop there. He now has five to his name – along with one British record.

Ian Couch and Ben Thackwray skiing across Greenland.

Ian Couch and Ben Thackwray skiing across Greenland. - Credit: Archant

The 44-year-old was an officer in the Royal Anglian Regiment for 18 years, setting his first record on his very first row, in 2007, when he completed the fastest 1,000 nautical miles in a rowing boat.

That achievement saw him rowing the Atlantic Ocean in a five man boat, between the Canary Islands and Antigua, in just 37 days.

The father-of-two said: 'I love rowing and rowing an ocean is everything a proper adventure should be. There are no guarantees of success and it's a privilege to see the things you might not otherwise see, like pods of dolphins.

'You see sunsets and fantastic night skies. When we were rowing the Atlantic we were followed by a baby whale swimming along with us.'

Mr Couch, who owns the business, AdventureHUB, which helps people to plan adventures, has also set records on land. In 2009, he and friend Ben Thackwray set the British Record for the fastest crossing of Greenland on skis.

'We were doing around 18 hours a day on skis, it took us 15 days,' Mr Couch added. 'Some days it was minus 40 and we were hunted by polar bears for a few days. It's stunningly beautiful and devastatingly cold.'

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His other records include: the first and fastest row across the Indian Ocean; the first crossing on the Indian Ocean in an eight-crew boat; the first mixed crew Indian Ocean row-all between Australia and Mauritius, in 58 days, and the fastest double crossing of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean, in 38 days and 58 days.

And although he has no concrete plans to set more records, the ex-army officer is always ready to take part in another adventure, he said: 'I would go on a row anytime. You find out a lot about yourself on the rows, you're with the same people in a confined space.'

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