Staffordshire based James du Pavey, the Founder of James Du Pavey Independent Estate Agents, has just completed the most dramatic death-defying challenge to raise £15,000 for Stoke-on-Trent based charity The Donna Louise Hospice. James flew his paramotor, which he describes as “a parachute powered by a fan” solo from John O’Groats to Land’s End setting a new world record along the way.
James set out on Monday 8th July at 3.30am from John O’Groats and finished his challenge the day after on Tuesday 9th July after 36 hours travelling 870 miles and climbing to heights of 10,000 feet. A ground crew of two followed James all the way along his route to provide technical support and refuel his paramotor, but his flight was not without its dramas. James narrowly escaped unscathed from three crash landings including unscheduled stops in someone’s garden, a cricket pitch and a police dog training facility! This fantastic effort by James has beaten the previous record of 7 days which was set in 2011 by a team from ‘Flying for Heroes, and he is now awaiting confirmation of this flight being the new world record.
James commented: “It’s been truly epic, exhausting and nerve-wracking with two engine failures along the way then a third one which, very frustratingly, happened just six miles from Land’s End. I’ve crash-landed in someone’s garden, on a cricket pitch, even on a police dog training field! I’ve flown with fast jets though the Scottish Highlands, with eagles, with helicopters circling me, through rain and against massive headwinds. I feel absolutely, unbelievably tired, ruined, but it has been incredible – I can’t believe I made it.”
To date, James has raised a phenomenal £10,020 via his Just Giving page for Stoke-on-Trent based charity The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice which provides critical services and support for children, young adults and their families with life-shortening and life-limiting conditions.
James and his team have been supporting The Donna Louise since 2017, says its relationship manager Katie Tams: “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.”
When asked if he had any tips for anyone else who would like to try and break his record James responded: “ I am never, ever, ever doing anything like this ever again if anyone wants that record they are welcome to it. But having said that, it’s all been worth it to raise money for The Donna Louise Hospice, who with the current funding cuts need all our help to continue providing their invaluable service.”
People can donate by visiting: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/james-du-pavey1.