Monday, 25 November 2013

World record for the longest journey in a tuk tuk passed in Peru

Two UK teachers have overtaken the current world record in Peru for the longest journey in a tuk tuk. Richard Sears and Nick Gough have travelled 37,500 km around the world and passed through 37 countries, supporting grassroots education projects in Africa, Asia and South America. Because of ongoing mechanical problems they end up pulling the tuk tuk in Sechura Desert, Northern Peru.

After trying and failing to fix the tuk tuk on numerous occasions in Northern Peru, Rich and Nick were resigned to the fact that they would be unlikely to be able to continue their expedition beyond Lima. So when the tuk tuk broke for the umpteenth time and were only 70km from the world record mark, they decided to push it that way (800kg of tuk tuk, pushed 70km over 3 days). On arrival in Chepen they discovered a mechanic who specialised in our type of vehicle and who managed to fix it! So now they back on the road and aiming for our next goal - covering the circumference of the earth and becoming the first people to drive a tuk tuk around the world. They plan to pass that milestone in Northern Chile next weekend. 

Here are links to some of the media coverage:

Media enquiries to

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

2nd attempt to cycle Britain (twice) in 5 days + pack 2014 schedule

Endurance cyclist Chris Hopkinson, from Richmond North Yorkshire, will make a second attempt at a 1,700 miles (2736 km) ride, from Lands-End (England) to John O'Groats (Scotland) and back. With less than three hours of sleep a day and expecting to battle winds and cold all the way he aims to complete his cycle ride in five days. 
Chris Hopkinson at Lands End April 2013

Chris's schedule for 2014 looks like this:
  • Sebring 24hr, USA - February 14th/15th (dates not confirmed)
  • 50 mile Cycling Time Trial (CTT) - May 
  • Race Across America (RAAM) - June 10th 
  • UK National 24 hr - July 19th/20th 
  • Tour of British Columbia, Canada (5145 km) - July 27th 
  • 12 hr Cycling Time Trial (CTT) - August 
  • Burton and District Cycling Alliance (BDCA) 100 - last weekend in August 
  • California 24hr - November 
Chris is the current Ultra Marathon Cycling Association 24hr World Champion, having cycled over 432 miles in Bike Sebring, Florida, USA earlier this year. He also competed in the 3,000 mile coast to coast Race Across America (RAAM) in August.

Chris is aiming to beat the current Guinness World Record and also a Ultra Marathon Cycling Association (UMCA) record of five days 21 hours and 8 mins. He had to abandon his first attempt in April of this year due to the unseasonably low temperatures and high winds. Chris will be raising funds for Fraja Ellie Appeal

  • Departure date: 27 October 2013
  • Departure time: 10 am
  • Departure location: Lands End, Cornwall, England
Media enquiries to

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

30's Model A Ford crossing the US in record time recreating 110 YO journey

The Vintage Adventurer, two guys trying to beat the clock driving a 1939 Model A Ford across the the US, is all over! The crankshaft broke just past Amarillo at about 22.30 GMT Wednesday (Oct. 16th.). Both Rod Wade and co driver / mechanic Michael Flanders are devastated. The car is at a storage yard in Amarillo and the guys got a hire car and are heading for LA.

Vintage Adventures Rod Wade and mechanic & co-driver Michael Flanders at Staten Island, New York (Vintage Adventurers)
The Vintage Adventurers left New York on Monday on new world record attempt for driving 1930 Ford Model A against the clock to California. Rod and Michael were paying homage to H. Nelson Jackson and Sewall K. Crocker, the first to drive coast-to-coast across America 110 years ago. They started the record attempt on today Columbus Day (October 14th) at  Staten Island, NY.

View some media coverage here:

Network 7 (Australia)

Italian news agency ANSA

Media enquiries to

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

UK team out of world eco-car race in Australia after accident

The eco-car team representing the UK in the World Solar Challenge in Australia has withdrawn. Tests following post accident repairs "revealed new dynamic instabilities." As these were identified close to the race start (Sunday October 6th) there was not enough time to correct them. "Therefore, with great regret the team, Cambridge University Eco Racing (CUER) decided to withdraw. The team is very disappointed but we are confident that we have made the right decision."
The CUER eco car immediately after the accident near Darwin, Australia

After sustaining severe damage to their eco-car the CUER team had announced they will still take part in the 3,000 km World Solar challenge in Australia. Their engineering team had worked over night repairing the unique solar powered vehicle.

The accident happened during final stages of testing on Cox Peninsula Road, Darwin by the Cambridge University Eco Driving (CUER) team. Their eco-car which which is named ‘Resolution’ rolled onto its side while driving at 85kph. It travelled for 50m before skidding across the road and down some gravel before coming to rest away from the road.

The driver sustained no injuries and was able to walk away from the accident completely unscathed. This was due to the extensive crash modelling of their carbon fibre monocoque chassis carried out by chief engineer, Peter Mildon. The canopy sustained severe damage and tens of thousands of pounds worth of solar cells on the right of the door were completely wiped out.

The World Solar Challenge organisers had been fully supportive and have extended their scrutineering deadline by 24 hours to give the team time to fix the car. The team believes they will have the vehicle ready in time and are looking forward to the race, despite this unfortunate turn of events.

View some media coverage here:

Autocar (UK)

Media enquiries to: Tommy Burns

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Disaster comms charity rushes to aid relief work in Colorado flood zone

Disaster Tech Lab, which leads the world in setting up emergency communications, is heading for flood hit Boulder, Colorado, USA to aid relief work. The chaotic scenes resulting in loss of life and waste of resources during disaster relief work can be alleviated by the rapid deployment of communications solutions. Disaster Tech Lab does this through hardware, its customised software, and the effort volunteers who are experts in these areas of technology.

Earlier this year Disaster Tech Lab deployed in Oklahoma, USA after a massive tornado hit Oklahoma City and Moore area. With the huge influx of disaster relief workers into the greater area the need for communications was drastically increased. The organisation helped by providing Internet access and VoIP services for other relief organisations as well as by setting up several public internet facilities complete with laptops and iPads.

In relation to Disaster Tech Labs wider development, work is ongoing to improve operational efficiency and logistics. A big part of this is the creation of pre-packed and pre-configured communications kits. These can be shipped to disaster areas and will be easier and quicker to install. This will shorten the time span between the decision to deploy and the moment networks go live.  The organisation has also established a new staging area in San Antonio (Texas, USA) and plan to establish a second on the US West Coast as well as a third in mainland Europe.

Speaking about this Evert Bopp CEO of Disaster Tech Lab said, ”This is our 3rd deployment in the US within 11 months. While we still have equipment supporting the ongoing effort in Moore, Oklahoma our increased capacity has made it possible to support two different relief efforts simultaneously. This is all thanks to our excellent volunteers as well as Aruba Networks who has been our main equipment sponsor since February 2010. " 

Media enquiries to

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Oceans Seven's record swim to Wales ended due to health concerns

The attempt by well known open water swimmer Steve Redmond to swim from Ireland to Wales ended in the early hours of Thursday morning (22 August 2013) on the advice of his support team, which included medical personnel, after he showed signs of hypothermia just hours into the swim. He had left Carne Pier in Wexford. Ireland earlier and was bound for St. Davids. Pembrokeshire in Wales.
Oceans Seven Swimmer Steve Redmond (47) will swim the Irish Sea non-stop starting August. Fnish at St Davids, Pembrokshire, Wales here he is perparing in Baltimore Harbour, Cork, Ireland with the Lifeboat (RNLI) (Michael MacSweeney-Provision)
Steve has already made history for being the first man ever to complete the gruelling Seven Oceans Swim and was looking to take on the challenge of being the first person to swim from Ireland to Wales. 

Speaking on the decision to end the swim John Kearney from Steve’s support team said, “While I know many people will be disappointed, not least Steve himself, we made the right decision to end the attempt.  Our main focus and concern was always Steve’s health and when he started displaying worrying signs of hypothermia we felt that with such a long swim ahead of him it was not worth the risk.  Steve has swam some of the most gruelling oceans and he knows that everything has to be right and you don’t take chances. 

Media enquiries to

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Dangers of Iraq no roadblock for 11,000 mile non-stop London to Cape Town record attempt

A UK team are aiming to beat the world record time for driving non-stop from London to Cape Town. The 11,000 mile / 18,000 km  (approx.) drive will involve traversing Iraq with all its security implications. As a test run for their 20 year old Land Rover they intend to complete a 6,000 mile / 9,600 km (approx.) round trip test drive to the Iraq border on August 12th 2013.

For the record attempt the team of three drivers will travel through 21 countries crossing Europe, the Middle East and Africa with their final destination being Cape Town, South Africa. Their route will include high-speed motorways, desert crossings, country tracks and pot-holed roads. Some of the route may be washed away by sudden rains or blocked by local conflicts.

The Drive4Change team (left-right) Ben Worth, Steve Hancock and Tony Cole in London before the start of their test drive to the Iraq border 

The biggest challenge of the venture will be security particularly while traversing Iraq. The team of three from Somerset, who style themselves as Drive4Change, have engaged a security company to advise and support them. The main dangers though the whole trip are impromptu road blocks where one of a number of situations could happen. However the worst case scenario is kidnap or theft of the Landrover. In Iraq one of the biggest dangers is improvised explosive devices (IEDs) one the main road from Iraq to Jordon which they must take to keep to their tight schedule.  The team will have a security person with them while travelling in the Middle East and Egypt.  In Iraq where additional security is needed they are likely to have a full armed escort.

The Drive4Change team will drive non-stop in shifts stopping only for the completion of paperwork, refuelling and toilet breaks.  They will sleep on seats, which have been modified and fitted in the back of the Land Rover.

For the test drive they will travel non-stop through 10 countries (UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria & Turkey). They are expected to take five days testing their driving skills and unusual sleeping accommodation and patterns.

Drive4Change rebuilt and customised their vehicle which has nearly 30 modifications for the trip and will also be tested to the limit on the way to Turkey.  The teams test drive to Silopi, Turkey near the Iraq border will depart from London 12th. of August at 3pm. 

They will depart in October for the record attempt and the venture is raising funds for and awareness of bibic. It supports children with conditions affecting their social, communication and learning abilities.

Media enquiries to

Thursday, 1 August 2013

"Glass Bullet" eco car unveiled at the Science Museum, London

A "Glass Bullet" eco car was unveiled today (Wednesday July 31st 2013) at the Science Museum, London, England. It will be the British entry in the World Solar Challenge, a gruelling 3,000 km marathon across the heart of Australia from Darwin to Adelaide. Designed by a 60 strong team from Cambridge University Eco Racing (CUER). Given the name Resolution, its game changing solar innovation will be on display at the Science Museum for three days from July 31st. 2013.
Cambridge University Eco Racing (CUER) eco vehicle 'Resolution' on the Mall, London, England (Andrew Zhao/CUER) 
Resolution weighs just 120kg and carries the world’s most efficient terrestrial solar array embedded within a unique aft-facing sun tracking plate that follows the trajectory of the sun. Use of this plate provides a 20 per cent gain in power. The cockpit is tiny and the four-person driving team must endure 4-hour stints in 40°c temperatures.

International media enquiries to

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Youngest solo pilot around the world stuck in Japan because of weather conditions

Jack Wiegand continues to be in Sapporo, Japan due to bad weather conditions Wednesday June 19th. He is now expected to take the 11 hour / 1,800 nautical mile flight from Sapporo to Adak Island, Alaska Thursday (20th June) and Anchorage mainland Alaska, Friday (21st June) all things being equal!  This is off course subject to weather conditions and flight permission on going. 

Jack has to get over to Kushiro Airport on the east end of Hokkaido Island first - his jumping off point from Japan. But Kushiro had very poor weather, low ceilings, fog, drizzle at present. Essentially this is the launch for Adak in the Aleutian Islands. Aleutian weather is barely predictable at any time to allow for this his support team work with weather forecasts that look ahead seven days.
Jack Wiegand flying high soon (photo

The big issue has been the development and movement of a low pressure system just offshore from Hokkaido and moving nearly in the exact direction of Jack's flight. Precipitation, low visibilities, and high clouds with icing make for a no-no go.  Icing sticks to the airframe, propeller, and anything else sticking out of the aircraft. It then gets heavy, and it changes the airfoil of the wing so that one loses lift. Jack has an anti-icing system on board but reports over the years from veterans of the north globe say that icing in the Aleutians forms and sticks worse than maybe anywhere on the globe. So the plan was to avoid getting into those conditions. 

His support team look at the weather forecasts throughout the week, day by day, probably even hourly to make sure his decision continues to be a good one. And just in case the weather improves in spite of the forecasts Jack would be ready to launch. 

Source Harold Gallagher Jack's flight instructor and sometime weather forecaster!

International media enquiries to

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Tuk tuk travellers / education campaigners conclude Indian sojourn with a visit to Kolkata

Two UK based educational campaigners who are travelling the world in a tuk tuk are concluding their trip across the sub-continent with a visit to Kolkata. They have been visiting educational and developmental projects, conducting academic research, documenting their experience and raising awareness of the Global Campaign for Education and funds in support of education. They have identified two projects they are intending to work with in India and these are:
  • Kat Katha, working in the red light district of Delhi, providing non-formal educational opportunities to sex workers there and their children.
  • Sakhi for Girls Education, providing young girls in the slums on Mulund, Mumbai, after school learning opportunities through a book bank and learning centre to improve confidence and further academic progress. 
According to Nick Gough and Rich Sears "both projects are truly inspirational examples of local people standing up and responding to the educational challenges facing their communities."

Highlights / challenges of their Indian sojourn
The highlight of their Indian sojourn according to Nick and Rich were "the incredibly friendly people, rushing to our aid when our tuk tuk's had any problems."  Other high points they mentioned were "the beautiful cities of Jodhpur and Udaipur and the amazing food."  The Indian trip was topped off with the traditional tourist visit to the Taj Mahal. The greatest challenge they said "was the heat - dealing with the aggressive humidity of pre-monsoon India has been emotional." The other challenge was the famously erratic Indian driving, particularly "getting used to vehicles flying at us from all angles!" said Nick and Rich.
Tuk Tuk Travels passing through a Rajasthan village, India 

Where they went in India
After arriving in Mumbai their first stop was visit Piaggio 3-wheeler factory in Baramati to pay homage to the birthplace of their tuk tuk. They then travelled north from Mumbai, through Udaipur to Jodhpur, then east to Jaipur, Agra, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, then north again into Nepal. On the final leg they travelled back through West Bengal to Kolkata from where they will ship to SE Asia.

How they got to indian
They arrived in India after shipping their tuk tuk from Capetown, South Africa to Mumbai. They have travelled through 29 countries crossing Europe. the Middle East, Africa and much of India and Nepal. Traversing the length of Africa in a tuk tuk was no easy task.  In Northern Kenya and Western Tanzania, the team faced over 1000 miles of dirt tracks, where thick mud, deep sand and large rocks made progress painfully slow.  Despite such challenging terrain, the tuk tuk only sustained one flat tyre outside Paris and one snapped accelerator cable in Southern Africa.  Wherever the team were, it would not take long for a friendly passer-by to come and lend a hand. Nick and Rich also had some close run-ins with wildlife too - we were almost charged by and elephant in Uganda and then again Botswana. They are first team to drive a tuk tuk the length of Africa recording their achievement on the beach at the Cape of Good Hope, in South Africa. While in Africa Nick and Rich uncovered some inspirational projects across and witnessed firsthand the extent of the educational challenges facing the continent today.  They joined street children in slums of Cairo, Khartoum and Kampala; visited Congolese refugees in camps in Eastern Burundi; and saw how education can help foster peace and reconciliation in Rwanda after meeting two young genocide survivors in Kigali.

What next and the world record
After India they will head for Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and back down to Singapore. They will then ship the tuk tuk to Los Angeles, in the USA before starting a tour of South America starting with Mexico. They will have have covered over 20,000 miles on arrival in Kolkata, closing in on the current world record for the longest journey in a tuk tuk. The current world record stands at 23,245 miles (37,410km). On arrival in Mexico they hope have broken the world record for distance travelled in a tuk tuk.  The expedition is sponsored by Cardiff University and shipping the tuk tuk from Africa to India and then onwards to Singapore and the USA is supported by DSV Global Transport and Logistics.
International media enquiries to

Monday, 27 May 2013

Chris Hopkinson and nine other Brits to take part in gruelling 3,000 mile cycle 'Race Across America'

Leading UK endurance cyclist Chris Hopkinson and nine Brits will take part in the grueling 3,000 mile cycle Race Across America (RAAM). Facing scorching desert, wind swept plains and cold mountain weather many will also raise thousands of pounds for charities. These endurance cyclist will ride coast to coast from Oceanside, California in the west to Annapolis, Maryland in the east.

The teams and solo racers will stop to sleep only when necessary and will be followed by back up teams and support vehicles. RAAM is an extraordinary race that will test the utmost limits of his physical endurance, mental resilience and commitment to a cause. In its 30-year history only 200 people have completed the solo version of the race, less than 10% of the total amount of people that have climbed mt. Everest.
Chris Hopkinson cycling in California preparing for RAAM 
Chris ‘Hoppo’ Hopkinson (45) of Richmond, North Yorkshire aims to take back the crown of the fastest British finisher. In 2005 he was the first ever Solo British finisher of RAAM in 11 days 23 hours and 5 minutes. He is returning in 2013 after a period of retirement from endurance cycling. Chris is also the current Ultra Marathon Cycling Association 24hr World Champion, having cycled over 432 miles in Bike Sebring, Florida, USA earlier this year.

On June 11th sees the the start of RAAM with the departure of 41 solo racers from UK and many other countries. They will be followed by 35 teams who depart from the Oceanside start line on June 15th

The two other UK solo riders are:
  • Mark Pattinson (based in the US)
  • Stuart Edwards (Plymouth)
The teams from the UK taking part are the following:
  • Crank Addicts 2 team of James Hamand and Jamie Slaymaker.
  • RAAM Fireflies comprising Ben Williams (Southsea), Harold Evans (London), Thomas Bowering (Marlborough) and David Larcombe (Camberley)
Links to some press coverage about Chris's preparations for RAAM are here:
Daily Star
The Guardian

International media enquiries to 

Friday, 10 May 2013

US pilot aims to be youngest to fly around the world

Jack Wiegand is aiming to be youngest pilot to fly around the world. He arrived in Manila, the Philippines on May 25th 2013.  This is the fifth leg of his journey east after traversing North America, the Atlantic, Europe, the Middle East and South Asia.  

Jack Wiegand makes final checks to his aircraft at Fresno Airport, CA, USA

Jack has been working toward this record since his first flight at the age of 13. He left his home in Fresno, California and will head to Japan, the Russian Far East and Alaska.  He piloted his first introductory glider at 13 and on his 14th birthday, he became the youngest pilot in his flying club to solo a glider, At 16, Jack soloed his first single-engine power plane.  He is also supporting two non-profit organisations close to his heart. 

Here is some media coverage of Jack's flight around the world:

International media enquiries to

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Education campaigners 1st to drive 'Tuk Tuk' the length of Africa

Two international educational campaigners are attempting a world record in a traditional Asian mode of transport the Tuk Tuk. They are also raising educational awareness on their travels and are the first team to drive a Tuk Tuk the length of Africa recording their achievement on the beach at the Cape of Good Hope. You can see some good photos of this and more photos of them in Africa here in a news item in Mailonline

International educational campaigners Richard Sears and Nick Gough the first to drive a Tuk Tuk the length of Africa at the Cape of Good Hope, S. Africa
While travelling they are visiting educational projects, raising awareness of the Global Campaign for Education and raising funds for inspirational educational projects around the world. Having passed through 27 countries, the pair have covered over 17,200 miles, closing in on the current world record for the longest journey in an auto-rickshaw. 

Here is a link to a slideshow of photos on the MSN website about Rich and Nick's exploits in Africa

To read more click here

International media enquiries to

Friday, 1 March 2013

100,000 volunteers, 5 days, 38 sites - Filipino style nation building

100,000 volunteers in the Philippines will be coming together for five days to build homes, repair schools, health missions and climate change mitigation activities. Considered one of the worlds biggest real-time volunteering event the participants will be working on nation building for the Bayani
Challenge 2013.  This unique national initiative runs from March 23-27 at 37 sites of 33 provinces across the Philippines. 

The activities during Bayani Challenge 2013 include the following:
  • Building an actual home for a family and experience everything from laying the foundation, attaching the roof, painting the walls, and landscaping
  • Creating an environment of fun and learning for children aged 6 to 10 years old through feeding programs, storytelling lessons, games, and a Sports Clinic.    School building is to make public schools conducive to learning by refurbishing rooms, painting walls, landscaping gardens, and repairing tables and chairs. This is in anticipation of school opening in June
  • Planting trees and organizing clean-up drives.
  • Community health activities involving sharing the importance of health by conducting a nutrition program, medical check-ups and health consultations.

To read more click here

International media enquiries to