Is it a bird? Is it a plane?… No, it’s James Du Pavey #TheFlyingEstateAgent risking life and limb as he flies 1200 km by powered paraglider (paramotor) from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise £10,000 for The Donna Louise Hospice… also attempting to enter the history books by breaking a world record in the process!
As James is at the mercy of the great British weather, this brave, albeit whacky, challenge of man and machine versus the extremes of landscape, weather and wind will take place at some time during June or July 2019. As soon as there is a wave of high pressure and low wind conditions, he will take a break from his day job as the founder of James Du Pavey Independent Estate Agents, and will take to the skies strapped to what can only be described as a lawnmower with wings (a parachute), aka a paramotor! This really is the ultimate in stripped back flying and this challenge will be one of the toughest endurance challenges that James has faced in the name of fundraising for The Donna Louise Hospice.
In 2011, a team from ‘Flying for Heroes’ undertook the same challenge setting the record at 7 days. James bravely states that he wants to slash this record by half and make the 1200 km flight in 2-3 days (dependent on weather conditions and prevailing winds).
James comments: ‘Up there it will just be me and my machine flying at up to 10,000 ft. facing all that the elements have to throw at us. It will be physically, mentally and technically tough and I will have to dig deep into my reserves to reach my goal. I will be navigating my way above some very isolated and extreme areas of landscape that are renowned for producing high levels of turbulence and wind shear. I will also be crossing populated areas which will bring their own challenges such as contending with flying through military danger areas and around restricted airspace. Plus, each night I will need to find safe ground to land and refuel along the journey. Couple this with the notorious unreliability of the paramotor and you begin to realise what a massively tough and gruelling challenge this really is going to be. But of course, The Donna Louise Hospice is such a great cause that every second of sheer determination and guts that I will need to succeed will be worthwhile.’
The Donna Louise Hospice provides absolutely critical services and support for children, young adults and their families with life-shortening and life-limiting conditions. It is a very special place that provides a ray of light in the darkest hour and makes a real difference to those going through very tough times. Therefore, every penny raised makes a real difference to this special charity. Katie Tams, Relationship Manager at The Donna Louise comments: ‘James and his team have been supporting The Donna Louise since 2017, raising over £20,000 through various fundraising initiatives and challenges. James’ paramotor challenge really is upping the game, though! We can’t say a big enough thank you to James for braving this totally whacky and wonderful challenge; the funds raised will do so much to support the children, young people and families who rely on our services.’
Whilst James Du Pavey has undertaken many tough challenges to help raise funds for The Donna Louise, a charity very close to his heart, this 1200 km paramotor flight is by far the biggest feat of endurance that he has undertaken to date.
James concludes: ‘I am personally paying all costs associated with this challenge to ensure that 100% of the money raised will go directly to this wonderful charity. It is very hard to say the exact date that this flight will take place as we are very weather dependent, but it will be during Summer 2019. Those who are interested will be able to track my progress both before, during and after the challenge through my social media sites #TheFlyingEstateAgent on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theflyingestateagent/ and Twitter: https://twitter.com/flying_agent. We are asking everyone to support The Flying Estate Agent challenge in whatever way they can either by donating to my JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/james-du-pavey1 or simply by sharing, re-tweeting and supporting my social media – and don’t forget to use the hashtag #TheFlyingEstateAgent when you see me overhead!’