Two intrepid teams take up the Mongol Rally challenge for backup


Two intrepid teams take up the Mongol Rally challenge for backup

In July this year, two teams are taking part in the 2019 Mongol Rally, all in aid of raising money for technical entertainment charity, backup. Close friends and colleagues, Salvador Avila, Ethan Forde and Duncan McLean, Team backup, and ‘Turbo’ Anthony Hall and ‘Henri’ Abby Cooper, the Nomadic Numpties, will take part in this epic – and slightly mad – adventure, driving from the Czech Republic to Mongolia, finishing in Ulan Ude in Russia, both in wholly unsuitable vehicles.

Team backup’s chariot for this endeavour is a 2001 Toyota Yaris, with over 121,000 miles on the clock. Both teams know it will be a long and torturous journey for any car let alone their wheeler dealer bangers as the rally thunders across mountains, deserts and the steppes of Europe and Asia. Teams can take any route they want, as long as the rally is completed in between four and eight weeks. There will be no ‘backup’ or support, they are completely on their own and it is estimated that over a third of teams won’t complete the rally.

“It won’t be easy, and the drive is fraught with danger,” says Duncan Mclean, a video and projection designer based in London and New York, who has worked in theatre, television and large-scale live events for the past 15 years. “There will be highs and lows, the car will breakdown – a lot – and friendships will be pushed to their limits.

“But our goal is to raise £50,000 for backup and we’re aiming to get manufacturers, hire companies, theatres, producers, various productions and other freelancers to sponsor the team on the rally.”

Henri is a freelance production manager and sound engineer whilst Turbo is part of the busy lighting design team at TSL. With both being so actively involved in the industry, it is no surprise that backup is one of their chosen charities for the Mongol Rally, which they decided to enter on the spur of the moment while they were at a show at London’s Excel exhibition centre.

“We’re doing this because it’s a way of extending out knowledge of the wider world and, more specifically, because it challenges every aspect of our skill sets,” says Turbo. “We will be coaxing our fairly ancient car, Poppy, across 10,000 miles of inhospitable terrain, interacting with a huge variety of local people, seeing amazing sights and funding two excellent charities, backup and Cool Earth. We’ve seen various technicians and other industry people need help. backup is there for them, it’s an excellent charity and one close to our hearts.”

Team Nomadic Numpties are also looking for ideas from the industry on turning Poppy into a mobile mirror ball effect.

Team backup see the Mongol Rally as a once in a lifetime adventure and one of the biggest challenges they will ever undertake.

“It will really take us out of all our comfort zones,” concludes Duncan. “Why are we supporting backup? There is no other charity out there that supports our side of the industry, and the work they do is invaluable. Everyone has a link to someone who has been helped by backup, so it made complete sense for it to be our charity of choice!”

Backup wish to thank both teams for choosing to support backup as their charity of choice, and we wish you the best of luck with your preparations, fundraising and of course the rally itself!

For more information, keeping track on their challenge progress via their blogs, as well as how you can donate and make all their efforts worthwhile, please visit the teams personal fundraiser pages:

Team Backup

Team Nomadic Numpties