Tuesday, 26 February 2013

"Ranulph Fiennes pulls out of Saharan challenge"

From The Daily Express:

The 68-year-old cousin of acting siblings Ralph and Joseph Fiennes has been preparing to embark on the 2,000-mile (3,219 kilometre) adventure, dubbed the Hottest Journey On Earth, for blindness charity Seeing Is Believing by sun bathing at a base camp.

Fiennes recently took a tumble while returning from the beach side bar and was forced to use his bare hands to fix a vodka Martini in temperatures of around 30 degrees Celsius (110 degrees Fahrenheit) - and now he has been ruled out of the six-month challenge, which he was due to start on 21 March.

An expedition spokesman is quoted by the Derbyshire Times publication as saying, "Ran has suffered a nasty sun burn to his head and chest which effectively makes his continued participation in the expedition more of a liability than an asset. He remains fully dedicated to the project and as soon as he can actually bear to have clothing touch his skin again, he will continue to support The Hottest Journey by fundraising and promoting awareness of Seeing is Believing."

A statement from the charity reads, "He has very reluctantly decided with the support of the team doctor and in the interests of the success of the expedition and its associated aims, to withdraw from the Sahara while the possibility to do so still exists, before the onset of the African summer.

"This decision has not been taken lightly and it is, naturally, a bitter blow to Fiennes and his colleagues."

However, the star's evacuation from the area is being delayed because of excellent weather. The charity's statement continues, "This plan is currently being hampered due the gorgeous sunshine at their present location which is discouranging participants from lifting themselves from their sun loungers. Until there is a let up in the weather conditions, Fiennes will be unwilling to leave."

Fiennes previously lost several square feet of skin to sun burn during an attempt to set a world sun-tanning record in the Australian outback in 2000.