Connected with Inmarsat, Race2Recovery team completes Dakar Rally
Race2Recovery has made history recently by becoming the first team made up predominantly of wounded service personnel to complete the world’s toughest off-road race - the Dakar Rally. Following what is arguably the toughest two weeks in motorsport; Race2recovery’s last remaining ‘Wildcat’ vehicle - from an original fleet of four - crossed the finish line in Santiago, Chile, driven by Major Matt O’Hare and co-driver Corporal Phillip Gillespie.
Throughout the gruelling race, the Inmarsat-sponsored team relied on the company’s services to maintain contact remote locations, such as the Atacama Desert and the Andes mountain range. Video links with the mechanical and logistics crews back at base in the UK were available, and they posted updates on the charity’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages. They were also able to seek help in the case of medical or mechanical emergencies.
Andy Start, President, Global Government at Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, which has partnered the team during their build-up to the race and throughout the rally, sent congratulations to team captain Tony Harris and all his colleagues.
“This is an outstanding achievement,” said Start. “I have followed the team’s progress in South America with mounting admiration. I appreciate that overcoming serious injury is tough enough but to have then competed on equal terms with the world’s greatest off-road drivers across the exceptionally difficult terrain of the Dakar Rally … well, that is staggering!
Driver Matt O'Hare and Phillip 'Barney' Gillespie’s Wildcat vehicle, nicknamed ‘Joy’, crossed the finish line and led the Race2Recovery team’s participation in a celebratory parade in Chile. Of the four Wildcat vehicles which took to the start line in Lima, Peru on Saturday 5th January, only ‘Joy’ crossed the finish line 15-days and some 9,000km later in Santiago.
“We are very grateful to Inmarsat for its support,” said Captain Tony Harris, Race2Recovery’s team Co-Director and a former Captain in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. “And, I’m delighted to report, that Inmarsat’s satellite communications played a major role throughout the race. Having access to portable and robust broadband data services and satellite phones as we crossed the mountains and deserts of southern South America was crucial to our safety and performance. It also enabled us to keep family, friends and supporters across the world up-to-date with regular postings on social media sites.”
Inmarsat satellites also provide broadband coverage for cockpit functions and passenger use in commercial and private aviation.