Since retiring from International competition James has been far from idle and in 2005, he took on the mighty challenge of rowing across the Atlantic with TV presenter Ben Fogle all filmed for the BBC documentary Through Hell and High Water. Applying the same determination, competitiveness and stubborn streak that James showed during Olympic preparations, Ben Fogle and James Cracknell were the first boat to arrive in the Caribbean despite there only being one professional rower on board. In March 2008, James achieved another giant feat, this time on his own, when he successfully completed his Cross Continent Challenge in aid of Sport Relief. Over seven days he travelled to Africa from the UK under his own steam -rowing the channel, cycling through France and Spain and finally swimming the Strait of Gibraltar, accompanied by David Walliams and four pilot whales.
Not just content with extreme challenges James Cracknell has also found a natural home in front of the camera. James currently presents Ch4's coverage of the British Superbikes and has recently filmed Rough Guide - Extreme for Channel 5. As ITV Sport's all-action reporter he has covered the Superbowl in the US, the Rugby 7s in Hong Kong and The Boat Race. Last year saw him traveling the globe hosting the massively popular Red Bull Air Races CH4 and this year he co presented the Red Bull Flugtag in Hyde Park. James currently writes for The Telegraph as one of their staff writers. He has covered a whole raft of subjects, from the fashion in Milan to the surfing in Hawaii via a motorbike trip across Russia.
In December 2008 James Cracknell once again teamed up with Ben Fogle to take part in the Amundsen Omega3 South Pole Race. Together with a third team member, Ed Coats, they raced against 5 other teams, in a bid to reach the South Pole first. The trip was followed closely by the Daily Telegraph and BBC Breakfast and was filmed for a primetime BBC documentary series, which is to air later on in 2009.
James' love of competition has not diminished and he regularly takes part in marathons, triathlons and adventure races not to mention setting a record for paddling the Channel on a surfboard. He released two books in 2006; James Cracknell's No Gym Health Plan and The Crossing- Conquering the world's toughest rowing race (co-authored with Ben Fogle).
James Cracknell is an experienced and entertaining corporate speaker and awards host. He is an ambassador for Red Bull & Adidas and featured in a Vaseline for Men advertising campaign. James is married and has three young children.
In 2010, while filming a show in which he cycled across America, he was hit by a fuel truck travelling at 70 mph, and suffered a devastating brain injury and was in a coma for several days. While in the coma, Bev (his wife) found out she was pregnant.
Thankfully, James recovered, but was left with damage to his frontal lobe – the part of the brain that controls things like mood, empathy and motivation.