Pilot aims to set new record with Wales to Lowestoft charity challenge

Clarisse Hamilton with Giles Fowler, who is flying a paramotor 500km across the UK without stopping

Clarisse Hamilton with Giles Fowler, who is flying a paramotor 500km across the UK without stopping to raise money for charity Cancer Research UK. Picture: Dempster Hamilton - Credit: Archant

An RAF pilot will be taking to the sky in a charity flying challenge which he believes has never been attempted before in the UK.

Giles Fowler who is flying a paramotor 500km across the UK without stopping to raise money for chari

Giles Fowler who is flying a paramotor 500km across the UK without stopping to raise money for charity Cancer Research UK. Picture: Courtesy of Giles Fowler. - Credit: Archant

Giles Fowler, who grew up in Oulton Broad, is preparing for a 500km non-stop flight from the west coast of Wales to the most easterly point in Lowestoft - all with an engine and propeller strapped to his back.

Mr Fowler will be travelling in a paramoter - a lightweight engine with a harness that allows you to fly beneath a paragliding wing.

The route Giles Fowler will be taking on his coast to coast challenge. Courtesty of Giles Fowler.

The route Giles Fowler will be taking on his coast to coast challenge. Courtesty of Giles Fowler. - Credit: Archant

The challenge will take him around eight hours, and he plans to complete it without refuelling on the ground or in the air.

But the 38-year-old is prepared to battle the elements to show his support to close friend Clarisse Hamilton, who underwent a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. He is raising funds for Cancer Research UK.

Giles Fowler who is flying a paramotor 500km across the UK without stopping to raise money for chari

Giles Fowler who is flying a paramotor 500km across the UK without stopping to raise money for charity Cancer Research UK. Picture: Courtesy of Giles Fowler. - Credit: Archant


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He said: 'If I can save one person's life through this then I have done my job.Clarisse has been given a second chance at life and I want to give someone else that.'

Mr Fowler, who joined the RAF in 2000, needs a westerly wind to fly, and will be setting off any day between June 5 and June 16. He will be flying from the Old RAF Brawdy base to his home town, finishing at Beccles Airfield.

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His paramoter has been adapted for the trip to carry over 25 litres of fuel.

He said: 'I can't take much more than eight hours because I will run out of fuel. I need the westerly wind to help me, the faster the wind the faster I will cover ground.

'I will be exposed to the elements but my discomfort for one day is not even close to what people go through battling cancer.'

Mr Fowler hopes to raise £5,000 and will be flying with a live tracker so people can follow his route.

'No one has done it non-stop before or in one go so it is something different,' he said.

'I'm excited but I'm not a natural thrill seeker and I've been doing lots of planning to make sure it's a safe as possible.'

To follow Mr Fowler's route, visit http://www.livetrack24.com/user/Coast2Coast

To sponsor him visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Giles-Fowler

Clarisse's journey

Twelve days after completing the Moonwalk in May 2015, Clarisse Hamilton discovered a lump on her right breast.

She made an appointment with her doctor, and was referred to a breast clinic.

'The following week whilst waiting for the results was one of the worst weeks of my life. I have no words to express the shock, the terror, the injustice I felt at that time.'

A week later she was diagnosed and told she had to have a mastectomy.

'The lack of symmetry from the loss of a breast was more than I could bear and I shed many tears at night when it was time to witness it yet again.'

She was then told she may not be able to have reconstructive surgery.

'It took much time and work to resurface as a normal human being, but as with everything, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.'

A year later, she has recovered and run her first marathon.

'I am so fortunate to have such amazing friends around me; tears just rolled down my cheeks when I saw what a wonderful and scary venture Giles is getting himself into to support others like me.'

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