We were lucky enough to be introduced to Matthew Taggart at Ozone by Craig Hansen (below). Matt was as enthusiastic about the sport as Craig (if that’s possible!) and was immediately interested in our plans to kite buggy the north east coast of Brazil. A couple of hours later and two sets of the ultimate depower foil kites – Access XT and Frenzy, were on their way to us.
Run by kiters for kiters, Ozone are always improving their products – perhaps because their staff are using them every weekend! That’s one reason we think Ozone kites are that bit better than others we have tried in the run up to this trip, and why we’re so glad to have them onboard.
Craig Hansen from the PLK Buggy Shop has helped up so much he’s pretty much part of the team!
From giving his advice based on his extensive experience of kite sports (having broken the record for longest distance travelled in a buggy in the Mad Way South expedition across the Sahara) to sending us two modified Outlaw buggies all the way from New Zealand, there’s no way this trip could be happening without Craig’s support.
Craig Hansen is also MD at Computing Solutions, who funded the cost of the heavy duty steel rims for use on the buggies. Founded in 2003, Computing Solutions is an IT integration firm based in Ashburton, New Zealand. They offer a whole range of services from IT support, Server Implementation, network setup, preventative maintenance and mobile solutions, to customers as varied as veterinary clinics, legal and accounting firms, engineering and production based businesses, and dental clinics.
When we went to wallop kite festival we couldn’t help notice all the ‘buggybags.co.uk’ logos adorning the back of nearly every vehicle there. Everyone we spoke to told us about Jon and Helen, who are known in the sport for making the highest quality accessories available, including seats, GPS holders, camera bags, and custom bags.
With 1000km to travel without any vehicle support, and the need to take all the equipment on the plane too, we provided BuggyBags with quite a challenge! Although they are so busy that they are working 7 days a week, Jon and Helen are producing custom made bags to fit the back of each of our buggies, transit bags to house the buggies and frames on the plane, wheel bags to take the big foots, and shoulder harness tow ropes!
So how hard is it to produce all this custom gear with just a couple of weeks? In Jon’s words: “I think a 1000km buggy ride will be easier, but its all for a good cause so we will get our reward in Heaven!”
We’ll be sticking pictures and video up here as soon as the bags are ready. Thanks again to Buggybags.co.uk
We have Oceansource to thank for finding out about Jericoacoara, and leading us to this stretch of coastline in Brazil. If you’re looking to go somewhere different and away from the usual tourist areas and you’re into kitesurfing or windsurfing, definitely give them a call.
Headed up by Ed Texier in the UK, Oceansource is a wind sports specialist and provides holidays, clinics, and camps to amazing but often unknown spots in Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Croatia, the Phillippines, Maui, Mexico, South Africa, Greece, and now Brazil.
Having met Ed on a windsurfing trip we booked through Oceansource in El Tur, Egypt, we thought he would be interested in this little adventure! Oceansource has since helped out with many of the logistics of the trip, including accommodation in Jericoacoara, contacts with Club Ventos and transfers with all our gear back to Fortaleza.
Ed Texier said: “Oceansource is particularly interested in seeking new, unchartered territory which is why this project is of particular interest as it demonstrates a pioneering attitude synonymous with the ethos of our brand. We wish Harry and Charlie every success in their endeavours and appreciate the opportunity to be involved in this exciting challenge!”
After 21 days or so of hard buggying we figured we’d need a week off. Hidden behind a maze of huge sand dunes and voted one of the ten best beaches in the world, Jericoacoara is the perfect end point for the journey. Club Ventos was the first windsurf centre in ‘Jeri’, born out of a dream to create a paradise for windsurfers.
Fabio Nobre, founder of Club Ventos, says: “We’re a company owned by Brazilian windsurfers, so we have the knowledge and the freedom to establish in any beach we believe is the right one. And we’re very picky on the matter. Reliable wind; warm weather; waves; flat water; great atmosphere. It has to be nothing less than “perfect” to have our flag. Once we find a perfect beach, we select the perfect location. We cut no trees. We do it in style. We have designed the coolest and most welcoming centers there are.”
Couldn’t agree more Fabio, and we’re looking forward to completing our mission in good time so we can spend some time in Club Ventos!
The perfect place to end our journey! Serrote Breezes has just six apartments which are designed to keep the rustic feeling of the village of Jericoacoara, with views of the huge sand dunes, sea and gardens. It’s also possible to buy one.
Near the centre of Jericoacoara and all the beaches, Serrote Breezes and sister apartments Casa do John have got great reviews so we’re looking forward to getting there in good time! Check out www.jericoacoara.co.uk
Kevin at SB Kites offers the best traction land kite instruction in the south of England, and we’ve got him and his daughter to thank for hundreds of tips on buggying and generally staying safe whilst flying our Access XT and Frenzy kites.
Kevin is also an Ozone dealer, so we had our buggy lessons using the same kites we’ll be taking to Brazil.
If you’re interested in power kite lessons on a board, buggy or bike, take a look at www.sbkites.co.uk
Check out this blog post on Harry’s first lesson with Kevin here. Thanks to SB Kites for their hours of running behind us shouting instructions and encouragement!
Judged as being one of the top five items on the kite buggy sahara expedition, we’re very grateful that 2C have generously given us two solar light caps too.
Being in the burning sun every day near the equator, and then often sleeping outside with no other lighting means that these caps will come in very useful!