Mad Way South, the Sahara Challenge, is like no other – man harnessing the wind pitted against the harshest environment in the world, the Sahara Desert. In September of 2009, two Aussies and two Kiwi’s completed the first Buggy crossing of the Sahara Desert. By wind power alone, they traveled 2,500 km of the world’s toughest terrain claiming the world record.
The crossing wasn’t all smooth sailing with a host of unexpected incidents. Kiwi Buggier Steve Gurney almost lost his life with a major head injury on day 15. The team had to extract him out of some difficult terrain to get him to hospital. Thankfully he rejoined the challenge a few days later, albeit battered and bruised.
“Steve’s strength in getting back in the saddle gave the other buggiers the drive to continue their quest to the finish. They went on to buggy through land mine country and across some amazing flat classic desert reaching speeds of up to 60 kilometres an hour.
All hell broke loose in the teams crossing of the Mauritanian border into Senegal, 300 km north of the City of Dakar, the proposed end of the crossing.
“We were in the middle of a desert salt pan when we were hit by a major thunder storm, bogged in mud, threatened with hypothermia and then dehydration. ‘Only in the Sahara!’ We managed to claw our way out of that one, but not without a major drain on our energy levels.” Steve Gurney said.
Lincoln Williams who is part of the MWS camera crew said, “the Mad Way South team, powering all our communications and camera gear in the desert using a device called a power inverter. The inverter converted the 12v DC battery power from our 4WD to 240AC so we could use all our equipment.”
Lincoln Williams went onto say “ In such a harsh and dusty environment, we just needed the small 300w 8ZED power inverters fitted to our support vehicles and they didn’t miss a beat.”
The 8ZED team at WallCann, is jointly responsible for getting our buggy team across the desert”.
The Mad Way South team were highly challenged mentally and physically during their 30 day adventure, and without the support from all their sponsors this challenge would not have been possible.