Engineers prepare to drive to Mongolia

Are they mad? A group of Southampton engineers are embarking on a challenge like no other. This summer, Oli Hampden-Martin, Callum Livingstone, Will Sexton and George Tuckey will drive a 4×4 […]


Are they mad?

A group of Southampton engineers are embarking on a challenge like no other.

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This summer, Oli Hampden-Martin, Callum Livingstone, Will Sexton and George Tuckey will drive a 4×4 ambulance all the way to Mongolia.

They are taking on the challenge in aid of the Charity Mongol Rally along with GoHelp, a project that aims to donate emergency response vehicles to hospitals in the country.

This will mean travelling over 10,000 miles on roads and tracks- no easy feat.

Oli, the team’s Treasurer, explained their inspiration. He said:

A few years ago we were introduced to the idea of driving from Southampton to Mongolia by some friends in the windsurfing club. They managed to successfully complete the challenge, and their trip sounded epic.

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The team’s source of inspiration

The idea has been planted in our heads for the last few years, and after graduation seemed the best time to do it.

The political situation in areas such as Ukraine and Syria are forcing the team in certain directions.

While still unconfirmed, their current plan is to start from the UK and travel through France, Germany, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Russia plus another seven or so countries before reaching the final destination.

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Map of the route at present

Oli added that their lack of linguistic skills could pose a bit of a problem:

We are all engineers, and not great linguists. Together we can wing a little bit of German, French and Spanish, but the further we head East the worse our linguist skills will be.

The real challenge is going to be communicating in Kazakh, Russian, Mongolian. Hopefully we’ll find a good phrasebook…

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George, Callum and Oli fear they may struggle with the kazakh language. Where’s Borat when you need him?

When asked about the charitable cause behind the challenge, Oil said:

There is currently a massive shortage of ambulances that are able to reach rural communities in Mongolia. This is why we have chosen to donate a 4×4 ambulance, and have started a crowd funding project for it.

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Oli: a watersport enthusiast

But the lads have a lot to do before they set off, most importantly securing the funding to buy the ambulance and spare (£10,000), plus raising over a £1,000 for GoHelp charity.

In efforts to achieve this, on 22nd January they will also be hosting Post Exam Mongolian Madness event in Jesters, and cordially invite everyone along. Tickets can be bought for any donation over £3 on the Crowd Funding Page.

The team is also offering a range of awards for people who donate, from a handwritten postcard from Mongolia to an invitation to their post-trip dinner. Visit their crowd funding project page to find out more.

The boys are a tight-knit bunch, having met in their first year Engineering lectures and shared their passion for water sports and adventure ever since.

They have the planning, the determination and the teamwork covered, now they just need some support to make it happen.

Like their Facebook page, read their blog and visit their Crowd Funding Page to show your support!