Thursday, 22 August 2019

WHITIANGA WEATHER

“Wildboy” set to embark on next adventure

Brando Yelavich, a 25-year-old Hahei resident, also known as “Wildboy,” is set to embark on his latest adventure that will see him cycle the entire width of Australia over a three-month period to promote mental wellness. No one else is believed to have attempted this feat.

Brando is known for being the first person to walk the entire coastline of New Zealand. An 8,900km journey that took more than 600 days to complete, he raised more than $32,000 for the Ronald McDonald House charity.

A childhood struggle with ADHD and depression saw Brando slowly slipping off the rails. A sudden decision to take control of his life and achieve something profound, manifested in a desire to complete the coastline expedition. Brando has since published a children’s picture book and two novels detailing his impressive triumph.

Adding to this accomplishment, Brando has also kayaked around Vancouver Island, trekked in the Himalayas, spent 33 days on Stuart Island and skied across Greenland. The film, “In Nansen’s Footsteps,” was produced documenting Brando’s trip across the Greenland icecap, which he completed with three other explorers.

Setting off on 15 May (only two weeks from now) from the most western point of Australia, Steep Point, Brando will be joined by first time explorer, Loren Kett. The pair will head to Cape Byron on the Australian east coast, cycling through the Gibson Desert, the Red Centre (Alice Springs) and Simpson Desert.

The adventure will see Brando and Loren cover a total distance of 4,670km.

“I think it will be awesome to experience a journey like this with someone else - it gives you an opportunity to share your growth and conquer challenges together,” says Brando.

Brando and Loren will cycle 70 to 100km each day. Each of them will have to take 70kg of equipment and food and 40l of water with them each day. Almost 400 freeze-dried meals tailored specifically to meet their needs health-wise, will make up the bulk of their diet.

“We have no idea what to expect really,” says Brando. “We plan to sleep in tents each night and will be cutting straight through the terrain, rather than following the roads. We’ll have to stock up on water along the way where we can. We’ve worked out that the majority of the journey is flat riding with about 900m total of uphill climbing. I definitely think this will be my toughest expedition yet.”

Brando and Loren will also have to endure potential outdoor threats, such as extreme temperatures, floods, sandstorms and dangerous wildlife.

“Even though we’ll be travelling on our own, I’m lucky to have the support of fantastic sponsors to make this challenge achievable,” says Brando.

Brando and Loren plan to film the entirety of the journey through the use of GoPros and drones, while working with production companies to eventually create a documentary called “Dust.”

“I really want to help promote positive mental wellness by inspiring people to learn about themselves, understand what they are capable of and gain a connection with nature,” says Brando.

“My goal is to help others see their worth and realise they can achieve amazing things. After all, I’m just an ordinary guy doing extraordinary things.”

Brando has no desire to lead a quiet life anytime soon. “I have endless plans for the future,” he says. “Crossing Antarctica and Mongolia is definitely on the cards for a start.”

You can follow Brando’s latest journey at www.wildboyadventures.com.

Pictured: Hahei resident, Brando Yelavich, also know as “Wildboy,” is set to embark on an adventure that will see him cycle the width of Australia.

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