Brothers embark on Brazil kite buggy journey
On 25th July two brothers from the UK will travel 1000km in Brazil using wind power alone. Using specially modified three wheeled buggies and kites, Charlie and Harry Thuillier will aim to get from Natal to Jericoacoara in the North East of the country, breaking the unofficial world record for the longest kite buggy trip without vehicle support.
File comment: The Route from Natal to Jericoacoara, Brazil is approximately the same length as the UK.
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As if this isn’t enough of a challenge, until June neither had even sat in a kite buggy before, and this has never been attempted in South America. So why did they decide to kite buggy 1000km in Brazil?
Harry explains: “We both wanted to do something a bit different. Charlie was about to finish his final year at York University before starting work in September, and I had been granted a month’s leave from my job as a marketing manager at Racelogic in Buckingham. What started as the idea to do a bit of backpacking has grown into a more exciting challenge!”
Charlie continued: “We’re both keen windsurfers and found out about this place called Jericoacoara, a really windy spot in North East Brazil. Harry looked on Google Earth and saw hundreds of miles of fairly remote beaches leading up to it from the south. His idea was to use a sand yacht, but I thought kite buggying would be even more fun! There are some pretty large dunes and mixed terrain, so buggies with big tyres looked to be the best option.”
A couple of months later and the Thuillier brothers have been lucky enough to get the guidance and sponsorship of Craig Hansen and Jenny Cook at kite buggy manufacturer PLK in New Zealand. Craig is joint record holder of first person to cross the Sahara by wind power.
Craig Hansen said: “Jenny and I are pleased to be able to help these guys with their expedition. They’re making their own fun,they’re making their own adventure, and they’re inspiring more people to get outside and play with the wind.”
File comment: the brothers will be using Ozone kites and specially designed outlaw buggies to complete the trip
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For an adventure like this, with no vehicle support, it’s vital the brothers have the correct equipment. Craig Hansen and Jenny Cook supplied them with the same outlaw buggies used in the Sahara, and put them in touch with kite designers Ozone, who were also enthusiastic.
Matt Taggart, MD at Ozone kites, said: “We’ve supported numerous expeditions around the world and we’re glad to be involved with another creative use of wind power. Kite buggying is taking off as a sport that the whole family can do (although maybe not 1000km at a time!), and our Access XT and Frenzy depower kites are a valuable addition to the brother’s kit.”
The Thuilliers are raising funds for Centrepoint, a charity that helps young homeless people in the UK, but they’re keen to emphasise that they are not asking for sponsorship without offering something in return. Depending on the amounts donated, they are offering to do a number of challenges which include kite buggying naked for some (more remote!) sections of the trip, sleeping rough and leapfrogging the whole width of a beach! If you can think of a fun challenge to set the brothers, you can comment on their just giving page: www.justgiving.com/brazilkitebuggyadventure
Charlie said: “I’ve been amazed at the generosity people have shown so far, making charity donations on our just giving page and sponsoring us with equipment. As well as Craig Hansen, Jenny Cook and Ozone, everyone from 2C (makers of solar light hats), buggybags.co.uk for the large bags on the back, Ultraseal for tyre sealant, New Balance for specialist footwear, Ocean Source and Club Ventos for accommodation in Jericoacoara, and even our local tyre dealer, GM Tyres, giving us a lesson in how to put the wheels together and lending us tools!”
Harry added: “We definitely couldn’t manage this without all the support – so we better go do it!”
Find out more about the trip and follow the Thuillier’s progress here: www.kitebuggyadventure.com
Thanks to: Ozone Kites, Craig Hansen at PLK Buggies, Ocean Source, BuggyBags, Club Ventos, Ultraseal, New Balance, 2C Solar Light Caps, Genesys Computers, and Racelogic.