Friday, 25 September 2009

Lucozade Challenge: Yacht Racing Post 7: Race Day has arrived

After a few days of hardcore practice sessions to nail the basics, the tactics and the skills they need, our winners are ready to go...

So with that, we boarded the boat to take us out to the Yacht for the penultimate time. The next time we set foot on shore, we'll either be winners... or losers.

The race itself will consist of seven legs, well - let's just hand over to the team shall we?

And with that, we lost the game.

But! And this is one almighty BUT!!! - Rob took us to one side after the race and said:

"Guys, I have to tell you something. Last night we (the staff) had a meeting about today's race. We race like this all Summer for tourists and cruise ships and, if we want to, we can make either yacht win whenever we want to. We could've fudged it today, we could've *let* you win and you wouldn't have known.

But, having seen the team training all week. Having experienced first hand how well you all worked together and how much effort and dedication you were all pouring into this challenge, we decided that today's race would be 'for real'. They threw everything they had at us today and still we came *that* close to beating them. I'm so proud of you all for doing what you did, you have no idea how close you were... half a boat they beat us by, we sure gave them a run for their money. Well done, all of you."

How about that? We were racing against a fully experienced team, who was captained by the most-experienced skipper in the bay (and arguably the world) and we came THAT CLOSE to beating them!


Well done Team Lucozade! A well won, and worthy second place.

Lucozade Challenge: Complete.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Lucozade Challenge: Yacht Racing Post 6: Let's go Snorkel!

After a long day sailing yachts out at sea, there's nothing that's quite relaxing like an afternoon of snorkeling.

The Caribbean - Sept 14th

Keeping the energy up after working all morning (given that our winners could've opted to sit by the pool all afternoon), is no easy task. But once again, proving their worth as Lucozade Energy Challenge Winners, our team step up accordingly.

The Caribbean - Sept 14th

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Lucozade Challenge: Yacht Racing Post 5: Out at Sea

The Caribbean - Sept 14th

This morning has been awesome. All the basic theory we went through on shore all became suddenly very real the moment we got onto the boat. The diagrams that Rob had shown us on his whiteboard now made much more sense and, after just a few sails up and down the bay, we're feeling a lot more confident about the Race on Wednesday.

Tomorrow we have more training ahead of us. Now we have the basics down, it's time to talk tactics.

But first, let's find out from Rob himself (and the winners too) exactly how they all got on today..

Lucozade Challenge: Yacht Racing Post 4: To the Yacht!

That over there, on the right hand side, is our yacht: The Stars & Stripes. Part of the winning syndicate of yachts that won the 1987 Americas Cup.

And today... we're allowed on it

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Lucozade Challenge: Yacht Racing Post 3: Back to school

Strangely enough, before we're allowed ANYWHERE NEAR a multi-million dollar, Americas Cup winning yacht boat, we have to go through some rather intensive training.

Admittedly, this isn't so hard when your classroom looks like this:

The Caribbean - Sept 14th

Heh, anyway - this is Rob Brinkworth.

The Caribbean - Sept 14th

Rob is is in charge of our motley crew over the coming days. Under his strict tutelage will we be able to beat the other yacht when it comes to the big race on Wednesday.
So we're all listening... VERY CLOSELY

Lucozade Challenge: Yacht Racing Post 2: Say hi guys! :D

Monday, 14 September 2009

Lucozade Challenge: Yacht Racing Post 1: We're on our way! (at last)

We arrived at Gatwick to meet our new winners, Al, Jon, Clare and Trevor. They're a little bit excited.. well, I say 'a little' - I actually mean A LOT.

Please say hi to Trevor, Al, John ( @satsooma ) and Clare!

You see, unlike the rest of the winners to date these four have had a bit more time to prepare themselves mentally for the challenge ahead. If you remember, this trip was postponed due to an impending hurricane... Yes. So no danger there then.

Our destination today is St Maarten in the Caribbean, via Antigua. I don't know about you, but when I hear 'Antigua' I then think of 'Tortuga' and then I think of Pirates of the Caribbean...

I can't see Johnny Depp flying around chasing ghosts on an F1 Americas Cup Winning Yacht though, can you?

Report back soon guys...

Lucozade Challenge: Glacier Climbing Post 15: Coming to the end

After yesterday's day of glacier climbing, today we're to head down the mountain. Walking the 2500m all the way down and that means an early start...

The Alps - Sept 3rd

Today is the last full day in The Alps and these guys have been very worthy winners.

Congratulations guys! Lucozade Challenge: Glacier Climbing - is COMPLETE!

The Alps - Aug 31st

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Lucozade Challenge: Glacier Climbing Post 14: Glacier Climbing

The first few days we were here we walked across mountain tops, scaled stone walls and reached the summit of 3600m.

None of that however, has involved climbing glaciers. Today, that will change!

The Alps - Sep 2nd

We set out after breakfast to get to the ice (which moves by the way!) as quickly as possible, and when we arrive - we're not disappointed...

The Alps - Sep 2nd

The Alps - Sep 2nd

The Alps - Sep 2nd

Once we find a safe (read: not *that* dangerous) part of the glacier to practice our technique on, we each take it in turns to learn new skills in climbing, ice-axing and crevasse-lowering...

Lucozade Challenge: Glacier Climbing Post 13: A tour around Mont Blanc

There can only be photos to show you this...


The Alps - Sept 1st

The Alps - Sept 1st

The Alps - Sept 1st

The Alps - Sept 1st

Lucozade Challenge: Glacier Climbing Post 12: Up to the lodge

After yesterday's gargantuan efforts in rock-climbing and energy-sapping activities it's nice to know that today we can take it easy a little bit with a short helicopter ride up to the next lodgings... A few of us a bit under the weather today, I think it might've been something we ate - so a day or rest and relaxation is much appreciated...

The Alps - Sept 1st

Hurrah for Helicopters!

Lucozade Challenge: Glacier Climbing Post 11: Making it back alive

Lucozade Challenge: Glacier Climbing Post 10: The Long Way Down

After spending all day reaching the summit, so we begin the long way back down again..

The Alps - Aug 31st

To keep us safe Eddie, our guide who you met earlier, has to stay at the top...

The Alps - Aug 31st

...while we go down ahead of him. Lee, who was at the end of the rope at the start now finds himself at the beginning, feeling his way down and forming a path for all of us.

The Alps - Aug 31st

Lee was a Legend and helped us all out on the way, guiding our feet and hands as we went down after us.

Nice one Lee.

The Alps - Aug 31st

Lucozade Challenge: Glacier Climbing Post 9: Interviewing the Guide

Lucozade Challenge: Glacier Climbing Post 8: We made it!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Lucozade Challenge: Glacier Climbing Post 6: Arriving up high

Arriving up at the third and final station, 'Punta Helbronner', we realise the sheer magnitude of the task that lies ahead.

The Alps - Aug 31st

Packing up our kit, our lead guide, Eddie, explains to us the importance of the equipment. The crampons... (these bad boys)

Aug 30th

...are for keeping our footing on the ice. Next up is the rope; each of us is tied to another three. Fortunately Me, Paul and Lee get tied up with uber-guide (and suspected Mountain Goat) Eddie.

The Alps - Aug 31st

Which leads me onto the final piece of essential equipment: Your friends. I've known these winners for less than 24hrs and yet all of a sudden we're tied to together and the relying on each other to not fall off and pull us all to our doom.

Trust is going to come into play over the coming hours and days, you can just feel it.

Onwards Gentlemen! Onwards!

The Alps - Aug 31st

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Lucozade Challenge: Glacier Climbing Post 5: Up, Up, Up!

After yesterday's day of training, this morning we're to head high up into the mountains for some more intense, more difficult rock climbing.

Thing is, to get up to the part where we need to be we need to traverse not one...

The Alps - Aug 31st

Not two...

The Alps - Aug 31st

But THREE different cable cars!

The Alps - Aug 31st

Yes, we really are THAT HIGH.

3500m high in fact.

The views from up here, are spectacular:

The Alps - Aug 31st

The Alps - Aug 31st

Lucozade Challenge: Glacier Climbing Post 4: Day One - Complete

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Lucozade Challenge: Glacier Climbing Post 3: Say Hi Guys! :D

Lucozade Challenge: Glacier Climbing Post 2: Do More

The Alps - Aug 20th

"DO MORE" screams the tagline on this blog, DO MORE is indeed something we've been doing. The flight over here was a measly 1hr and 15mins. Amazing really given the travels that have been laid before our previous winners, however - because there's less time spent in the air, that means there's more time to spent... DOING MORE!

No sooner are we dropped off at the hotel, are we back on our feet again and out the door to embark upon our first 'training' trek up the mountain. It's 13:15 local time and these lads drove down at 2:30am this morning from Birmingham. 'Hard core' doesn't quite do it justice..

Up. We. Go. !!!

The Alps - Aug 20th

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Lucozade Challenge: Glacier Climbing Post 1: Meet the Winners!

Hurrah! They're here! Meet Mark, Paul, Chris & Lee :D

Meet Mark, Paul, Chris and Lee.

As our profile piece says these guys are experienced climbers, all in training for Kilimanjaro in September. So this competition is perfect timing for these gents as they prepare mentally and physically for the challenges ahead.

Our destination is Entreves, Geneva. According to our itinerary, the hotel we're staying in for half of the trip (we'll come back to the other half later), is known as the Hotel Auberge de la Maison and it overlooks Mont Blanc.


It's 8am, we're boarding in 15mins. The flight is an hour long and we're to start our training almost immediately.

And there we were thinking it was going to be easy.... ;)

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Challenge: White Water Rafting Post 16: Fishing on the Zambezi


You may notice that there isn't really an abundance of fish in any of the pictures below, that'll be because all we caught today was the Sun. And I'm not kidding.





So, after being in the boat from 7:30 this morning - the lads decide to call it a day at lunchtime and go exploring instead. To where?

Victora Falls.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Challenge: White Water Rafting Post 15 - Kicking back to relax


After a long day rafting, we're all back to the hotel to chill out and discuss the days' events. The rapids we faced today were on the low part of the river. According to Hippo the upper rapids may well be open for Monday. So until then, we chill out and relax.

Later that night Brent introduces some of us to the team we're racing on Monday. Oh yes, that's right - did I not mention? Today was just a practice run for the BIG RACE on Monday. Us. vs Them.

...and they are equally as up for it.

But until then? We FISH! :D


Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Winners Announced

Congratulations to Chris, our fifth challenge winner! He and his friends, Mark, Lee and Paul are getting ready to leave this Saturday to start their exciting adventure!

Read just a bit more about them below – we’re sure you’ll get to know them better as you follow them here on the site through photos, videos, tweets and Facebook status updates.

Chris Greene
Age: 29
Job: Works in IT for Land Rover
Hobbies/Sports: Mountain climbing, Trekking
Anything Interesting: Recently climbed Pyrenees twice in order to accomplish the trip which they had to abandon on the first attempt. In between climbs he climbed Snowdon and was able to complete 5 peaks in just 1 day. by at 5am and finishing at 10pm. He is climbing Kilimanjaro next month with Mark.

Mark Hipwell:
Age: 39
Job: Works in IT for Land Rover
Sports/Hobbies: Mountain Climbing / Walking
Anything interesting: Completed each of the mountain climbs with Chris. Both guys completed these climbs as training for their Mount Kilimanjaro climb next month.
How does he know the winner: Workmates

Lee Chaney:
Age: 27
Job: Steel Erection Engineer
Hobbies/Sports: Plays rugby and rides motorbikes.
How does he know the winner: Old school friend of Chris.

Paul Esherwood:
Age: 32
Job: Runs a recruitment company
Hobbies/Sports: Martial arts
How does he know the winner: Childhood friend

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Challenge: White Water Rafting Post 14 - They did what?!

So there we are, cruising along the Zambezi nice and slowly, heading from one rapid to the next when all of a sudden some bright spark comes up with the idea of doing a cliff jump...

Yes. That's right. A CLIFF JUMP.

"Oh, it's perfectly safe..." says Hippo "...just be sure to jump AWAY from the rocks."


Well, that's nice and clear then. Jump AWAY from the rocks. Just in case you had any intention of jumping TOWARDS the rocks, here's a nice friendly reminder not to do that.

Just watch this already...

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Challenge: Yacht Boat Racing Post 0 - We're on hold!

Yes, yes. Under normal circumstances (me, along with) your Lucozade Energy Competition winners would be winging their way to the Caribbean right about now to take part in the next challenge presented to us all - Yacht Racing.

However, these are not normal circumstances, hence the blog post number '0' I guess.
Basically, word reaches our ears that there is a storm coming and - what with these America's Cup Winning F1 Yachts being worth a few million dollars a piece...

The team at St Marteen have reported that a ‘tropical depression’ (e.g., a hurricane) is due to hit the island mid next week. They are unsure of the severity as yet, however as the yachts the Lucozade Team racing are F1 and of high worth they can’t risk taking them out on the water. The insurance terms are so strict, that even if the weather warning is only mild – medium, the boats still have to be removed from the water 3 days before the storm is due to hit and placed in a safe location.

So basically, the yachts have to stay safe. Damn.
We're currently working with the organisers to re-schedule the challenge for the middle of next month but in the meantime, we're going to push on with the updates from Zimbabwe while we look forward to the next challenge in the competition - Glacier Climbing in The Alps!

Watch this space - more updates to follow :)

Monday, 17 August 2009

Challenge: White Water Rafting Post 13 - Time to hit the rapids!

The top top part of the Zambezi is closed (at this moment in time - more on this later) so we're, today at least, only attempting the high numbers

That means rapids 11 through 23. Needless to say, these rapids are just as hardcore as the lower part...

Check THIS out

Challenge: White Water Rafting Post 12 - Heading down to the river

Something they don't tell you about the Zambezi is that it's in the middle of a gorge, which of course - you have to traverse to get to.

This video kinda says it all.


Challenge: White Water Rafting Post 11 - The Middle of Nowhere

Friday, 14 August 2009

Challenge: White Water Rafting Post 10 - 6am WAKE UP CALL!

We're to be in the truck for 7:30 where we're to meet Hippo, our Zambezi boatman guide for the week.


Driving through the town we ponder what lies ahead. The anxiety is building and there's a real sense of trepidation as we pull into Savannah Lodge, the place where our guides are to meet us.

Not soon later, we've been briefed and the team are... Well, I'll leave it to them to explain how they feel:

Challenge: White Water Rafting Post 9 - Entering Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls is situated along the Zambezi river which in turn separates Zimbabwe from Zambia, you can actually see the falls from either side but the Victoria Falls Hotel is situated on the Zimbabwe side (so not actually Zambia at all then).


So as we cross the Zimbabwe border (MORE VISA FORMS!) you can tell the excitement is building.


James - who if you remember was initially excited about the safari - now just 'can't wait to get there'. The amount of travelling these guys have done over the past 48hrs is immense alone, now we head to the Victoria Falls Hotel...


Our challenge, awaits.....