People have rowed across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, so why not take a couple of PWCs from London to Sydney to raise money for charity as well as a few quid to cover expenses, of which there will be many. The trip was planned to start this month, but Jeremy Burfoot, an airline pilot for Quantas who lives in New Zealand, has decided to postpone it until next July due to “the unfavourable economic environment in 2009.” But the run is “definitely” scheduled for July 20, 2010. Burfoot is no beginner at PWC riding, having taken a “warm up and shakedown” 9,000 km, 19 day trip around New Zealand in 2006. First it was Earthrace setting the Round the World Powerboat Record by a Kiwi, now this. Can’t people just be happy living Down Under on dry land? Burfoot will also be commemorating the 223rd anniversary of the “First Fleet” going to Australia to colonize it with 717 convicts, including 180 women (we bet they were happy lot).
We’re calling it “The Run for the Roos”, a planned 17,000-mile trip on two Sea-Doo PWCs.
First things first: For all of you Aussies who haven’t already checked to see if your forefathers and mothers came over with the first batch of convicts, click here to get the list--
Burfoot Gets Cancer
Jeremy Burfoot, who calls himself a “Kiwi/Aussie”, was diagnosed with a melanoma in 2005. He and another Aussie (Brad Burton) sat down and planned an event they saw as a way to lift awareness of what cancer is doing to us and how ordinary people can help fight this disease, both in terms of self awareness and by donating funds towards research carried out by the Cancer Society.
As for all great plans, this one started out as a challenge – both in terms of how to raise this awareness and secondly how the challenge could be expanded to reach a global audience.
Capt. Jeremy Burfoot and his trusty Sea-Doo. He started life as a Kiwi,
but has ended up an Aussie.
A New Mountain to Climb
Their website says, “In today’s fast paced world, there is very little that has not been attempted, from ballooning non stop around the globe, to climbing the highest peaks without oxygen, to kayaking the north and south polar regions.
“With this is mind Jeremy (a keen water sports enthusiast) came up with what he saw as the ultimate challenge – to ride personal watercraft from London to Sydney via some of Europe’s most famous waterways and across the Indian Ocean and into the Pacific.
“Not only will this be a world record attempt for the longest distance covered by personal watercraft, it will smash the current record of 18,400km by over 9,000km. The adventure was named the “Ultimate Ride”.” [We like “Run for the Roos” better.—Ed.]
The Route to the Roos
The Ultimate Ride will start on the Thames River outside of Parliament Buildings in London on the morning of 20 July 2010, then proceed down the Thames River and out across the English Channel to the Dutch seaport of Rotterdam.
From Rotterdam [Where a “road crew” will meet them and follow them across Europe] they proceed up the Rhine River to Frankfurt in Germany before joining the Danube River, passing through Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade and finally out into the Black Sea. From the Black Sea the route turns south past Istanbul to Gallipoli where the team will lay a wreath before proceeding into the Mediterranean.
Thence through the Greek Islands via Santorini to Crete and onto Port Said and Cairo in Egypt. [From there the riders will be accompanied by an ocean going vessel that will act as their mothership as well as a communications link with the outside world. ] From Port Said the route travels through the Suez Canal and into the Gulf of Aden at Yemen. [Hope they are not caught by pirates!] From Yemen the route turns east for the crossing of the Indian Ocean via India, Sri Lanka and Phuket to Singapore.
At this stage the team will be joined by an ocean going support vessel that will accompany them for a large portion of the remainder of the route and act as the mother ship. Once they reach Carins, Australia, the road crew will onece again meet up with them.
It’s All About Publicity
The website says, “The actual arrival time and date at the finish line will be selected to ensure maximum media coverage for the sponsors and the route scheduling will be altered to ensure that this is achieved.”
Burfoot has organized all manner of TV coverage, documentaries, press coverage and is offering sponsorships and different levels of economic participation starting at $100,000 (AU). The PWC trip will be well covered on the Internet, TV, print, and even on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube says the website. No media stone seems to be left uncovered.
Jeremy says he is planning on writing two books about the ride, one of which will be a “coffee table book.”
Special Ocean-Going PWCs
As in the New Zealand event the personal watercraft will be equipped with long range tanks increasing their range from 150km to 500km. This will allow the team to ride approximately 6 to 10 hours each day before refueling.
Obviously safety will be paramount and each PWC will be equipped with a satellite tracking system and fully integrated GPS. The position of the riders will be continuously updated on the London-Sydney.com website in real time which will add considerable interest to the event, says the website.
The riders will be protected by dry suits and full face helmets with communications equipment built in as well as carrying emergency beacons and sat phones. Each sector of the ride will be undertaken during daylight hours with the riders starting from a predetermined GPS point and riding until just prior to sunset at which time a GPS fix will be taken and the riders removed from the water. The GPS fix will be the starting point for the next day’s ride, thus ensuring the riders cover the exact distance required to set the new world record.
Jeremy Burfoot - Team Captain [Bio from the website]:
Jeremy was born in Whangarei, New Zealand on 7 March 1959. He attended Kapiti College near Wellington from 1972-75. After he left school he worked in a number of jobs including working in a bank and an abattoir. He joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1978 as a navigator. While he was there he trained for his commercial pilot’s license at the North Shore Aero Club in Auckland. In 1981 he left the Air Force and went to Papua New Guinea where he flew light commercial aircraft for 3 years. In 1984 he joined Qantas Airways as a pilot, rising to the rank of 747 Captain in 1990. In 1987 Jeremy became an Australian Citizen.
From 1991-95 he took a leave of absence and flew for Japan Airlines for 4 years based in Anchorage, Alaska and Honolulu. He is now back with Quantas based in Sydney but living in Auckland. He is married with three sons. Jeremy is a melanoma survivor.
In 2006 Jeremy organised and took part in the Quantas Jetski Around New Zealand adventure with long time friend Brad Burton to raise awareness of the dangers of skin cancer.
A second rider will accompany Jeremy on the ride -- details on the second rider will be available at a later date. If you would like to be a sponsor or help Jeremy in his worthy cause of drawing attention to Cancer…
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