On July 21, 2019, a few 22-year-old local lads will be embarking on a 20,000km journey from London to Mongolia in the most stupidly unsuitable car they can lay their hands on. Jonty Barton and his team mates are up for a challenge which is just as well as the rally they have entered promises that; “Your chances of being seriously injured or dying as a result of taking part are high. Individuals who have taken part in the past have been permanently disfigured, seriously disabled or lost their life.” The Mongol Rally is not for the fainthearted, at 16,000km across the mountains, desert and steppe of Europe and Asia each summer. There’s no backup, no support and no set route; just you, your fellow adventurists and a tiny 1000cc car you bought from a scrapyard for $17. Organisers urge participants to “bring the sh*ttest rolling turd of a car you can find. Use a car you swapped for a bag of crisps. Seek out a steed that most people wouldn’t even use for the weekly shop. The sort of car you can fix with gaffer tape and a hammer.” An overgrown sewing machine will suffice.
The adventure is about getting lost, using your wits, raising cash for charity and scraping into the finish line with your “vehicle in tatters and a wild grin smeared across your grubby face.” Breaking down is completely unavoidable and getting lost is inevitable. Its tagline: If nothing goes wrong, everything has gone wrong.
Everyone partaking in the rally is required to raise at least $2000 for charity (more than $14 million has been raised for charity since the rally's inaugural run). In the lead up to the rally Jonty and his teammates will be raising money for Cool Earth and LandSAR Wanaka. Their goal is to raise a total of $5000, with half of the donations going to LandSAR, and half to Cool Earth. Cool Earth is a non-profit UK-based organisation that works to protect rainforests that without intervention will be destroyed; whilst LandSAR Wanaka is a volunteer group of local heroes and one of the busiest back-country search and rescue groups in New Zealand, which has provided an essential, selfless service to the Wanaka community and exist solely on the basis of grants and donations.
The boys are asking for donations to their givealittle page.