Cambridge Companion To: Jailbreak

ELISE MORTON guides you through Jailbreak: what it is and how to get involved.

buenos aires charity evie pritchard Flight hitchhike Jailbreak jailbreak 2011 RAG sponsor travel world

You’ve heard the stories. You’ve seen the photos on Facebook. You were probably pestered for sponsor money. That time of year has nearly come again: it’s Jailbreak 2012.

I’m new and/or was sleeping under a rock last year… what is Jailbreak?

Jailbreak is a charity hitchhike which will take place on 27th-28th January. 150 teams of two have just 36 hours to try to get as far away from Cambridge as possible.

Sounds easy, right? The catch is that the teams can’t spend any of their own money. Last year, teams hitchhiked, bartered and begged their way as far as Buenos Aires, San Diego and New York. This year, The Tab will be there every step of the way, bringing you all the latest news and stories. You will even be able to track their progress on a live map.

The Jailbreakers of 2011 returned home with some brilliant tales:

Last year’s winners, Samir and Aneesha, managed to blag flights all the way to Buenos Aires. The duo tried Argentinian steak, went to Hooters, and even saw a commercial being filmed.

Meanwhile, team 35 – Genevieve and Simon – were arrested outside the Parthenon for their political views. And team 85 – Ant and Naomi – enjoyed a 4am stop to make pasta at the side of the road while listening to a CD of songs about sustainable fishing… what more could you want?

“Jailbreak was completely unforgettable. Not only did I get to travel to Italy, but I did so through the kindness of strangers, which was amazing,” said Faye Lee, who made it all the way to Venice after having been reprimanded twice by the police.

Faye looks back fondly on her Venetian hotel experience: “There was a pair of strange pants on the radiator outside our room, which we promptly adorned with an origami bird.” Just goes to show that Jailbreak leaves its mark on the hearts of its participants.

Not only were they left with golden memories, Jailbreakers managed to raise £40,000 last year.


What do I have to do to get involved?

This year the sign-up procedure is really easy: you just have to go onto the Jailbreak 2012 website, fill in the online form, then print out the confirmation email and hand that in with your deposit cheques to the RAG office before 30th November.

And remember – you must travel in pairs. Whilst female-female teams are allowed and there has never been a serious incident during the challenge, RAG Jailbreak strongly recommends male-female or male-male teams to ensure your safety.

Anything can happen in 36 hours. “Seventeen hours later we were getting off an extremely cut-price flight to New York and cadging lifts in cabs to Manhattan. The next thing we knew we were in a celebrity infested apartment block with views of the whole park and city, sipping champagne and admiring a letter written in Napoleon’s own hand, a genuine Dali and a picture drawn by Winston Churchill with his eyes closed.” These are the words of The Tab‘s very own Evie Pritchard, who came third last year.

READ: Lottie Unwin’s tips for victory here.