800 Amateur Adventurers Launching Charity Drive to Mongolia at the Festival of Slow

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300 teams from over 20 countries taking on The Mongol Rally 2011 will start their un-supported adventure on Saturday 23rd from Goodwood Motor Circuit in England and set off for Mongolia in tiny, unsuitable cars...

The 8th edition of the Mongol Rally, one of the largest annual charity rallies in the world, kicks off next weekend with a double launch featuring the famous UK motor circuit followed by another launch a day later from the ruins of a 13th century castle in the Czech Republic.

Live coverage of the launch and updates from the teams will be posted on http://www.theadventurists.com

The teams are driving tiny unsuitable vehicles up to 10,000 miles through countries including Iran and Turkmenistan and will face some some of the world's worst roads on their way to the finish line in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. They are expected to raise a total of £400,000 for charity.

The rules

The rules of the adventure are simple and devastatingly effective in their ability to cause glorious mayhem across a third of the earth:

The car must be very small and highly unsuitable for driving to Mongolia; strictly no more than 1.2 litres of raw engine power under the bonnet;

Each team must raise at least £1000 for charity;

There is no set route, no professional drivers and no back up or support of any kind – the teams are entirely on their own.

The rally is designed by organisers The Adventurists to be intentionally difficult. In a world dominated by health & safety, guide books that tell you everything before you arrive and the scourge of GPS devices, they believe it is still possible to walk off the edge of the map if you make life difficult for yourself.

It also raises vast sums of money for excellent charities. At least half of the £1000 minimum per team must be donated to official charity Christina Noble Children's Foundation (CNCF), with the other half going to a charity of the team's choice. All the donations go directly to the charities, and each team pays a completely separate entry fee to the organisers for the marvellous rally itself.

The Festival of Slow starts at Goodwood Motor Circuit on Saturday 23rd July where 220 teams will gather at 10am. Relatives will weep, musicians and performers will entertain, Mongolian wrestlers will grapple then thousands of people will gather to witness the teams complete a lap of the famous track before setting off for Mongolia.
Another 80 teams will join them for a second launch on Sunday 24th July at Klenova Castle in the Czech Republic, followed by a gargantuan party in the ruins of the party on Monday 25th July.

Heading south via Iran and Turkmenistan

When the Festival of Slow finally ends, some teams will head north into Russia and via the Arctic Circle, others directly East on the shortest route and a third of the teams have chosen the longest, most southerly route.

Around 100 teams will drive through Turkey, into Iran or across the Caspian sea by ferry then on to Turkmenistan and a gaggle of other Central Asian countries before heading north to Russian and into Mongolia.

The last few days are usually the hardest and the highlight for most. There are very few roads on the Mongolian steppe, and off-road dirt tracks can shift from season to season.

There's absolutely no guarantee the teams will make it to the finish line, and therein lies the point of the Mongol Rally. The Adventurists invite you to throw your guide book down the loo and come to the Festival of Slow or follow the adventure online.

http://theadventurists.com/the-adventures/mongol-rally

Notes to Editors
Hi-res photos and videos of the rally are available along with interviews with Tom Morgan, founder of the Mongol Rally and with teams from a variety of countries. If you have a particular regional or national interest it's very likely there's a team near you.

Mongol Rally Press Trips
There are funds available to cover the travel expenses of a limited number of journalists, broadcasters or bloggers interested in coming along to the Festival of Slow in the UK or even joining in with one of the teams and then flying back from Czech Republic.
We are also arranging for a limited number of media to be flown out to Mongolia to join in the final week of the rally, driving across Mongolia with one of the teams. Get in touch if you're interested.

About the Mongol Rally
In 2001 Mr Tom bought a tiny Fiat 126 for cash on a side street in the Czech Republic. Boasting a hunting knife, a cigar and no luggage, he and a friend set out with a hangover to drive to the most stupid place they could think of. Mongolia.
They failed miserable but the seed of mayhem had been sown and in 2004 the first Mongol Rally took place with 6 teams. By 2006 there were 167 teams and now well over 300 teams take part every year. The Mongol Rally was the first adventure created by The Adventurists and has already raised just under £1.2 million for charity.
http://theadventurists.com/the-adventures/mongol-rally

About The Adventurists
The Adventurists is run by The League of Adventurists International Ltd, a UK based company not just hell bent on fighting to make the world less boring but also raising massive buckets of cash for charities.
http://www.theadventurists.com

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Dan Wedgwood
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