Market Drayton estate agent confirmed world record holder for paramotor trip across Britain
An estate agent from Market Drayton has hit the heights after claiming a Guinness world record for an unusual flight raising money for charity.
James Du Pavey completed an 870-mile trip in a paramotor from John O’Groats to Land’s End in just over 36 hours, reaching heights of 10,000ft and surviving three crash landings.
He smashed the previous record of seven days set by Flying for Heroes in 2011.
The owner of his own estate agent company, James Du Pavey Independent Estate Agents, James started his journey on July 8 last year at 3.30am to raise money for The Donna Louise Hospice for Children & Young People.
He has currently raised £11,260 of his £15,000 target through his daring adventure to travel the length of Britain using a parachute powered by a lawnmower motor.
Following the confirmation of his record, James expressed his delight.
He said: “I am so chuffed that Guinness have confirmed the flight as a record.
“It was an incredible challenge for a fantastic cause and I am so proud to have done it.”
Although the trip was a success, it posed some difficulties with weather concerns as well as the questionable reliability of the motor engine.
James said: “There were so many variables to think about. Paramotor engines are notoriously unreliable so there was always the risk of failure.
"The wind was a constant concern, as well as the remoteness of some areas of the Scottish Highlands.”
During the trip, James crashed three times: in someone's garden, a cricket pitch and a police dog training field. As well as this, he alarmingly suffered an engine failure just six miles from Land’s End.
However, James completed the challenge in record time, picked up a Guinness world record and most importantly raised a lot of money for a worthy charity. He insists that was the motivation he needed to complete the journey when it was getting tough.
He said: “The whole thing, the blood, sweat and tears, were worth it.
"That place is so special. When things got really bad, I thought to myself, genuinely, those parents and those kids have to put up with this every single day and the only thing they’ve got for them is the Donna Louise. And that’s what got me through.”
The charity have expressed their gratitude towards James for his efforts to raise money through this challenge as well as previous fundraisers.
Nathan Walton, director of income generation at The Donna Louise said: “James and his team have been supporting The Donna Louise since 2017, raising over £35,000 through various fundraising initiatives and challenges.
“James’s paramotor challenge really has upped the game, though! We can’t say a big enough thank you to James for braving this totally wacky and wonderful challenge; the funds he has raised will do so much to support the children, young people and families who rely on our services.”
Following the confirmation of his world record, James was quick to commend others for helping him achieve the gruelling challenge.
He said: “ I had a two-man ground crew, Iain Parker and Jonathan Bott, following me the whole way, clocking up over 2,500 miles.
“I had to rely on the kindness of the country’s farmers every time I landed in their field to refuel. Everybody I’ve met has been so welcoming. It just goes to show how good people are, even when you’re landing on their property all over the show.”
To donate to the fundraiser, visit his justgiving.com/fundraising/james-du-pavey1
Report by Stephen Bramhill