We can confirm that participants in the 19-day event will be flagged away from the starting point at Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire, on September 17th by land-speed record-breaker Don Wales.
The 3,800-mile tour around the British coastline was originally created in 2016 to raise funds for the charity Prostate Cancer UK, and Don has kindly agreed to support the event after recently undergoing a successful prostatectomy. The 2018 Coastal Drive aims to add a further £70,000 to the £150,000 raised for the charity in the event’s first two years.
The Pendine Sands starting point is where Don Wales set the UK speed record for an electric car in 2000 at 137 mph (touching 160 mph), and the world speed record for a ride-on lawnmower in 2010 at 87.8 mph! Don agrees these unusual accomplishments might be explained by his genes: he is the grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell MBE and nephew of Donald Campbell CBE, two of Britain’s greatest land and water speed record-holders.
From Pendine, the Round Britain Coastal Drive will go as far north as John O’Groats and as far south as Land’s End, before concluding in the town of Tenby, on the opposite side of Carmarthen Bay to Pendine, on October 5th. The event comprises 19 individual stages, each of approximately 180 miles distance, and will be driven sequentially by groups of Jaguar E-types in the style of a relay. Most entrants choose to drive one to three legs, but this year six crews have committed to driving the whole way around.
The Round Britain Coastal Drive was devised in 2016 by E-type Club co-founder Philip Porter, the renowned automotive book publisher and author, after he was successfully treated for the disease. Philip said, “The aim was to give E-type Club members all over the country a sociable driving event at the same time as raising funds for, and awareness of, Prostate Cancer UK. It was meant to be a one-off event but proved so popular that we’re now running it for the third consecutive year.”
Don Wales commented: “I am very pleased to be part of this fabulous event and honoured to be flagging-off the entrants from Pendine Sands, where my grandfather set his first World Land Speed Record. I was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and have now had a successful prostatectomy. We need to get more men to talk about this horrible cancer, and events like this raise awareness and valuable funds to help fight the disease.”
Prostate cancer is now the third most common cause of cancer death in the UK and Prostate Cancer UK estimates that £120 million is needed for research over the next eight years to halve the number of prostate cancer deaths expected by 2026. The charity’s chief executive, Angela Culhane, said: “We need to bust the myth that this is just an old man’s disease that isn’t significant.”