Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Unique 8,000 mile vintage bi-plane aviation adventure across Africa launched

Vintage bi-planes will travel 8,000+ mile on a unique aviation adventure across Africa. There are a number of teams from across the world taking part in the 'Vintage Air Rally' (VAR).  It will recreate the pioneering days of flight from the 1920s testing the pilots skills and aircraft to the limit while raising funds for charity. The teams are attempting the crossing of 10 countries in 37 stops and 35 days and joining them will be the bi-plane feature in the 'Out of Africa' movie. .    

Such a large gathering of antique aircraft has never been done before, flown so far across Africa or landed at the Giza pyramids - first time in 50 years!. These 20's era aircraft make for arduous and unique flying and navigation challenges as their open cockpits expose the aircrews to the elements over such a long distance. The biplanes will also be functioning at their maximum range for some legs of the journey. In addition the weather, geography & political climate will test the pilots and the support crews to the limit.

Pedro Langdon, Canada flies his Travel Air 4000 past Lancing College, Sussex, England in prepartion for the 8,000 mile Vintage Air Rally across Africa 10 Oct 2016 (Photo Worldreach)
Flying low following the contours of the land the pilots will be guided by major geographic features such as the River Nile, the Ethiopian Highlands and Victoria Falls. To bring this project to fruition the organisers, Prepare2go*, have been working closely with the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). The event is also supported by HM Government’s 'GREAT Britain' campaign who have helped to bring this launch and rally to fruition. While travelling this adventure will be raising funds for UNICEF, Bird Life International and Seed Bombing.

Other human interest points to note:
  1. Participants will be sleeping on the sand by the Nubian pyramids in Sudan, under wing in tents in South Africa, on river boats on the Nile in southern Egypt.
  2. They will be engaging with local schools at many locations that are doing projects and competitions about the Rally. Some competition winners will be taken flying!
  3. Oldest plane is 88 years old, oldest pilot is 72 years old and youngest pilot is 18 years old.
  4. There are two Father and daughter teams, a father and son team, an entire family team, husbands and wives, buddies and solo!
Prepare2go has many years experience of similar events having already successfully flown groups in aircraft, modern and some vintage, on this route eight times in the last seven years. The team is lead by Sam Rutherford who been on trans-Africa trips over 15 times, either in planes, helicopters, or land rovers. He also helped coordinate the G-AAMY flight of solo aviatrix Tracey Curtis-Taylor last year. Sam and the Prepare2Go team specialise in access to remote, sensitive, or seemingly-impossible locations around the world. In support of this he has built a network of reliable contacts across Africa over years of travel and exploration.

The official launch of the Vintage Air Rally took place on October 11th in London, UK

Here are some links to media coverage we achieved:

Tages Spiegel

TV Monde 5

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Drag bike new accelerating FIM world record / first woman to do a kilometre wheelie - 153mph

Ian King riding the "Gulf oil Top Fuel Drag Bike" established a new two-way Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme / International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) world record on 18th. September 2016.  This took part at Straighteners 'Top Speed weekend fiat Elvington Airfield, North Yorkshire, England.  Ian's record was for standing start 1/4 mile in the FIM class "Partially Streamlined 1350cc to 1600CC class". His two way average of 9.5215secs on the 1500hp Puma Engineering bike. 

Kimberly Davey Schijven became the first woman rider to complete a kilometre wheelie. Kimberly, from the Netherlands, was so close at the August Wheelie weekend and finally put together a string of successful attempts ending with a best of 153mph.
Ian King and his 'Gulf Oil Top Fuel Dragbike' (photo Phil Evans)

The 'Gulf Oil Top Fuel Dragbike' is said to be one of the fastest accelerating motorbikes in the world Ian describes as the "fastest motorcycle outside of the USA from a standing start." Speaking bout it Ian also says it will out accelerate most vehicles from a standing start including all Formula One cars and even Thrust SSC and F15 Jet Fighter planes. The 'Gulf Oil Top Fuel Dragbike' is approximately 50% more powerful than a Formula One Car. 

Also in action over the weekend are 'funny vehicles going for world speed records'.  
  • The 'Fastest Shed' in the world driven by Kevin Knicks form Oxfordshire
  • 'Silver bullet' high powered sled ridden by Trevor Duckworth the Straightliners top man and 72 year old grandad with 30 UK and world record under his belt
  • Monowheel  'Atomic Infinity' ridden by Tom Anabel
  • Jet powered shopping trolley driven by McKeown, Portsmouth

These are in addition to a range of conventional high powered bikes and other four wheel vehicles going for UK and world records.

Straightliners s affiliated to the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU) and the International Organisation of Professional Drivers (IOPD). Rider participation including record ratification and timing is administered by to UK Timing Association (UKTA).  Both Straightliners and UKTA were set up by renowned motorcycle racer Trevor Duckworth.  

Here is some media coverage about this event

Monday, 12 September 2016

Solar electric tuk tuk travelling 1000's of km overland from India to Europe to promote sustainable transport

Naveen's "Tuk Tuk-Tejas", which he designed, built and tested over four years, runs on solar and electricity power and has 0 emissions. Travelling at a pace of around 100 km per day, Naveen plans to complete the 8,800 km to Europe in about 100 days. The object of the adventure is to create awareness of electric vehicles and solar stmillions of people in Asia and beyond.

An Indian man's self designed and built solar electric tuk tuk is travelling thousands of kilometres from India to the UK. Auto engineer Naveen Rabelli set off from Bangalore with his solar electric creation arrived in the UK ion the 12th of September.

Naveen Rabelli with his solar tuk tuk at the seafront at Dover, England. (Photo Gordon Foat)

Naveen began fully testing the his vehicle in July 2015. After travelling though India the solar electric tuk tuk was shipped to Bandar Abbas, Iran where his overland journey started in earnest. From there he drove through Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France. He hopes his project which will eventually reach London, enhances knowledge about the practical application of solar electric transport. In support of this, Naveen plans to publish a paper to share his experiences and learning online so that people can use the data he is collecting. The goals of this project is to not only create awareness of alternative mobility solutions for passenger vehicles in Asia and Europe it is also to:

Show the benefits of using a solar electric mobility solution and to demonstrate that they are affordable.
  • Practically demonstrate a solar electric prototype that is reliable technology
  • Promote the use of electric vehicles as way to reduce the impact of climate change
  • To connect with people along the way who are working towards sustainable living solutions.
  • To showcase an entirely Indian solution to the world.Speaking about his adventure Naveen said "Four years ago, the idea for solar tuk tuk came to me. I was with a friend in India stuck in traffic, surrounded by countless noisy, air-polluting tuk tuks. So we decided to do something about it and the idea of converting a fuel-based tuk tuk to renewable energy sources was born."

Here is some of the media coverage about this

Popular Science (US's biggest popular science website)

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

New Motorcycle Wheelie World Champion - on the back wheel at 214.669mph for a kilometre

The new Motorcycle Wheelie World Champion Egbert Van Popta, Netherlands stunned the crowd with a run at 214.669mph but just dropped the front wheel down between the timing beams for a fail so over 210 mph was looking a distinct possibility. Sure enough Egbert didn't disappoint with 213.309mph to set a new motorcycle wheelie world record. A huge cheer went up from the crowd and Egbert was congratulated on his return to the pits by previous record holder Gary Rothwell from Liverpool. Gary was indeed second quickest on 206.049mph, just shy of his 200.8mph record. Third in the competition, all the way from Minneapolis USA, was Cecil "Bubba" Myers on his third visit to the event. He astonished everyone with a stunning new personal best close to 200mph with a 197mph, his previous a 134.4mph.

New Motorcycle Wheelie World Champion World Egbert van Popta, Netherlands wheelieing at (photo Phil Evans)
There were 15 successfully completing a Kilometre wheelie. Other performance of note were Tom Swales, Selby. North Yorkshire on a borrowed the ex-Egbert GSXR1100 turbo who achieved a new personal best at 169.206mph. Dave Corrance, from England but living in France, had a new personal best at 166.8mph having been quickest on Saturday on 156.6mph. Dazz Rose from West London achieved his first ever kilo wheelie with a 165.069mph. Probably the most incredible statistic was down to Richard Roche Limerick, Ireland, his best time this year was exactly the same to the 1/1000th at 154.122mph.

Egbert brought along three other riders for the first time this year, Kees Vogel was straight on the case posting three successful attempts on Saturday and then improving to 129.811mph on his Triumph Daytona 955. Vincent Hoogerwart, yes a commentators nightmare of a name, late on Sunday managed a kilo wheelie at 143.650mph . Unlucky not to be the first female rider to achieve a kilo wheelie was Kimberly Davy Schyven, Netherlands. Her best with the front wheel up through the timing beams was 141.518mph unfortunately Kimberly had dropped the front wheel down at half track for a fail.

Written by Paul Cumpstone media enquiries to

Here is some media coverage about this:

Yorkshire Evening Post

Minister FM

Northern Echo

BT News website

York Press
Liverpool Echo

Guernsey Press

halifax Courier

Belfast Telegraph

Irish Independent

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Extremely modified road cars aim to be the best all round performers in the UK

One of UK's top performance road car events is set to take place for the 15th time at the end of July. Ten of the Best (TOTB), organised by Straightliners Ltd, aimed at finding the best all round cars and drivers in the UK. 'Handling', top speed and a 1/4m drag strip are used to determine the best of the best street-legal cars and drivers. TOTB is also an opportunity for competitors and spectators to experience the raw power and performance of the best modern high tech / high spec cars and retro classics. Thousands of spectators and hundreds of competitors and car clubs will pour into the grounds (Elvington Airfield, North Yorkshire, England) over the last weekend in July (30th & 31st July).

Essential the participant vehicles are regular (road) cars that have been souped up and modified, some to the extreme. TOTB attracts drivers hoping to break UK or world records and to prove their modified cars’ performance and their abilities to the public. All cars that compete in the main competition class are road legal, taxed, tested and insured. There is also a new "pro-drag class" for the ultimate drag specific cars. In addition many of the entrants have built and modified their own vehicles, while others represent the cream of the crop from the tuners and garages that specialise in the types of cars that compete. The three areas of competition are:
  • Handling - sharp cornering, acceleration and braking
  • Top speed - the fastest over a kilometre
  • Drag strip - over a quarter mile (1320 feet, 402 m)
Entrants come from most of the UK and European car clubs and groups, along with individual entries and invited tuner cars with the latest performance enhancing devices. Points are awarded in each of the three events overall, making it extremely difficult to score points in all events, unless the car and driver are on top form! The 'Pro Mod' drag class will have its own shootout final and trophy, with regular head to head runs during the event. Individual classes are also used to determine class trophies and these are:
  • FWD (front wheel drive)
  • RWD (rear wheel drive)
  • 4WD (four wheel drive)
Media enquiries to

Friday, 8 July 2016

On the back wheel for a kilometre at 190mph+ the goal of motorbike wheelie world champions

Riding on the back wheel for a kilometre at over 200mph for a kilometre is the goal of motorcycles bidding to be the wheelie world champion. This can be seen over and over again at the 10th World Wheelie Championship set to take place in England in mid-August. Up to 30 top competitors from the USA, UK, France, Holland and Ireland will be competing for the world title. Success depends on exclusively the rider’s high-level skill, which is used to control the speed and balance of the motorcycle. This is no mean feat as some of these retro fitted machines are the most powerful in the world.

Thousands of spectators are expected at the motorcycle World Wheelie Championship that takes place on August 20th. and 21st. at Elvington Airfield, North Yorkshire, EnglandThe participants will ride very powerful customised motorbikes with some rated at 450 horsepower if turbo charged viewed by thousands of spectators. The winner and world record holder will be the fastest to complete a kilometre in the wheelie position. Success depends on the rider’s high level skill to control the speed and balance of the motorcycle as no electronic or mechanical aids can be used. 

Thetop wheelie riders at the event will be current record holder Gary Rothwell from England who achieved 209mph  wheelie in 2015. Also present will be Egbert Van Popta from Holland riding a Hayabusa Turbo 195.805 MPH and Paddy O'Sullivan from Ireland riding a Suzuki GSXR 189.822 MPH. Representing UK will be Dave 'Dodge' Rogers, previous World Wheelie Champion, who conceived and is the original driving force behind the World Wheelie Championship.

The World Wheelie Championship is organised by Straightliners and takes place at Elvington Airfield, North Yorkshire, England. Straighliners is affiliated to the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU) and the International Organisation of Professional Drivers (IOPD). Rider participation including record ratification and timing is administered by to UK Timing Association (UKTA).  Both Straighliners and UKTA were set up by renowned motorcycle racer Trevor Duckworth.

Speaking about the World Wheelie Championship ‘Dodge’ said “In the early days of wheelie world records it was dominated by an elite few with high powered turbo bikes. Working with Straightliners we wanted to also involve the average guy on his sports bike. The rules for the World Wheelie Championship has achieved this by attracting serious motorcycle riders from all walks of life.” 


Media enquiries to

Thursday, 30 June 2016

WAVE Trophy electric vehicle rally - media coverage & participants comments

We have finished the 1,000 mile the WAVE Trophy electric vehicle rally across Europe (Germany, France & Switzerland).  It was an opportunity to put e-motorbikes and e-scooters to the test and get some insight to the experience of travelling across Europe with such bikes.  

The WAVE Trophy is an annual event brings together EV enthusiasts, this year from 10 countries who were travelling 1,000 miles through three countries.  In 2016 it started on June 11th in Bremerhaven (Northern Germany) and 70 teams traveled down through Germany to Alsace, France finishing in Switzerland.  Participants will visit engage with and learn about many sustainable / e-mobility companies along the route. On the way the participants also stop in many towns and cities and  participants had an opportunity to enhance their knowledge about e-bikes, to network and socialise.

Talking about about the WAVE Trophy 2016 here are some comments from some of the participants:

"Electric cars are our future and I will not drive any other car. WAVE Trophy is an inspiration for me. Organiser Louis Palmer has a vision I like to share and support. Let’s go big reaching more and more people"

"It was a fabulous bouquet out of meeting lots of interesting people, being in different kinds of beautiful landscapes, learning many, many new things effortlessly, along the way and - most important - getting an understanding, a grasp of the future world."

"Driving any electric vehicle feels strange at first - especially when it is a motorcycle. No clutch, no gears, no sound other than the wind. After a few hours you get used to it, and then you start enjoying the smooth acceleration. After driving electric you don't really want to go back to any combustion machine. It is simply a matter of time until most bikers will drive electric, and only a few nostalgic veterans and old timers will be seen on the streets in a not so far future."

"Driving with solar energy is a great (the best) experience."

Below is some of the media coverage. Media enquiries to