Thunderbirds are go: Manx team’s charity adventure



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Four costumed local fundraisers have begun an epic 1,500 mile journey in a banger with almost 200,000 miles on the clock.

The Vannin2Valencia team comprise 23-year-old Patrick Capelen, Daniel Bougourd, David Forrest and John Forrest, all 24, and a former taxi converted to look like Thunderbird 2.

They will join a fleet of cars, each costing £250 or less, that will begin the 1,450 mile from Calais to Valencia in Spain today as part of the Ramshackle Valencia Rally 2014.

Raising money for charity Balls to Cancer, the team are already over halfway to their £2,000 fundraising target, or £1 for every mile of their overall journey, having boosted their mileage by starting in the Isle of Man.

Patrick said: ‘One of the rules of the rally is that the car must be painted in a theme and we must wear accompanying fancy dress for the duration of the rally.

‘We’ve turned it into Thunderbird 2, and will be wearing International Rescue fancy dress costumes!’

He added: ‘The idea of doing something a bit absurd or ridiculous like this rally is to try and encourage men to have the confidence to go and get checked if they have a concern rather than leaving it until it could be too late.

Patrick thanked the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, who have helped with the cost of getting the team to England. ‘We are extremely thankful for the help in facilitating this trip. As we are covering all expenses ourselves so all the money we raise goes directly to the charity.’

Steam Packet chief executive Mark Woodward said: ‘Attempting to drive 2,000 miles across Europe in a ‘banger’ is quite ambitious, and we wish the team the best of luck.

‘We’re pleased to be doing our bit to support the challenge, and will follow their progress as ‘Thunderbird 2’ travels across the continent.’

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