CAPE TOWN – The skies above South Africa are filled with weird and wonderful creatures, from giant vultures to miniature sunbirds.
But those looking to the sky on Monday saw something even more unusual… a mad Brit in a chair with party balloons tied to it.
Like a scene from the smash Pixar film ‘Up’, Tom Morgan, from Bristol-based company The Adventurists, took to the skies near Johannesburg.
The daredevil flew 25km (15.5 miles) and reached heights of 8,000ft (2,438m) suspended from 100 helium balloons.
After a somewhat disastrous week trying to fly in Botswana, Tom tried his luck in South Africa.
And his concept of an air race based around flying in a chair with large party balloons tied to it (ranging from one to five foot wide, the kind of thing you’d find hovering outside a cheap car showroom) became a reality.
Whilst Tom had to hurriedly pop the balloons to get back to terra firma, after reports of strong winds on their way got radioed through to him, he’d experienced enough to know the ’world’s wackiest air race’ can become a genuine event next year.
“It was a fairly indescribable feeling, wafting across Africa on a cheap camping chair dangling from a load of balloons,” he said.
“Sort of peaceful and terrifying in equal measure. I came here to see if we could organise the world’s most ridiculous air race and after that flight, I’m more convinced than ever that we can.”
You’d be forgiven for thinking a race with this level of risk is too far-fetched in today’s over sanitized world.
But given Tom and The Adventurists are already behind some of the globe’s most extreme adventures, from the Mongol Derby, a 1,000km horse race across Mongolia to the Ice Run a motorbike ride across the globe’s largest frozen lake in Russia, don’t bet against there being an international line up ready to risk everything in the skies above Africa in 2018.
“We’ve done some pretty ridiculous things in the past, but this is up there with the best of them and we can’t wait to get this up and running as a full on race next year.”
PHOTO: © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: The Adventurists