28 February 2012: One of the three all-terrain quad bikes used by three young Australians who set out in 2010 to break a world record by riding through 38 countries and covering 58,000km in 14 months has been donated to the Powerhouse Museum by Yamaha Motor Australia.
The Quad Squad, which included Sydneysiders Valerio De Simoni (aged 24 years), Jamie Kenyon (aged 25 years) and Ted Davant (aged 27 years), achieved a new world record for the longest ATV (all terrain vehicle) journey, smashing the previous record by over 30,000km.
Tragically, the youngest team member Valerio De Simoni was involved in a fatal accident in Malawi, Africa, half way through the expedition in March 2011. However, fellow riders Jamie and Ted continued the journey-of-a-lifetime in honour of their mate Val, and officially broke the Guinness World Record when they rode into Sydney on 22 October 2011.
The Yamaha ATV ridden by Jamie in the extraordinary expedition from Istanbul to Sydney, through Europe, Africa and Australia, will be displayed at the Powerhouse Discovery Centre, the Museum’s publicly accessible collection stores in Castle Hill. The Yamaha ATV is a 4WD work vehicle normally used by farmers and not designed for long distance travel.
The quad bike will join the Powerhouse’s historic collection of material from other notable Australian expeditions over the past century that have survived some of the world’s most extreme regions in some of the most daring journeys.
Powerhouse Museum’s Senior Curator of Transport, Andrew Grant, said: “It is interesting that more Australians per capita have broken long distance records by bicycle, car, plane and boat in some of the world’s most harsh and remote environments.
“I am not sure if it is our climate, outdoor lifestyle, or the fact that we live in such a vast and rugged country that has inspired Australians for a long time, to go places where no-one else has been and to achieve something amazing.”
Among the famous adventurers whose feats are represented in the Powerhouse collection is Donald Mackay, who in 1899 cycled around Australia covering 11,000 miles or 17,700 km in a new record time of 240 days, 7 hours and 30 minutes. His bike is on show in the Transport Gallery of the Powerhouse Museum, along with Sir Patrick Gordon Taylor’s Catalina flying boat, Frigate Bird II, in which he piloted the first flight from Australia to South America in 1951 across the vast South Pacific Ocean.
For over twenty years the helicopter that renowned Australian adventurer Dick Smith flew in 1982 in the first solo circumnavigation of the world was suspended from the roof of the Powerhouse Museum. The small yacht of another solo record-breaker, Dr David Lewis, who sailed his 32 foot (9.7m) ‘Ice Bird’ in the first single-handed voyage to Antarctica in 1972 is currently undergoing critical restoration work by the Museum.
On display at the Powerhouse Discovery Centre in Castle Hill is a wheel and undercarriage leg from the Lockheed aircraft “Lady Southern Cross” that pioneer aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith flew in his fatal flight in 1935 when attempting to break the England to Australia speed record.
“Ted and I have memories as children of visiting the Powerhouse Museum in awe of the displays. It is a real honour to think that generations ahead will be able to visit the small part of history the Quad Squad created,” said Jamie Kenyon.
Media information, images or interviews: Mandy Campbell, Powerhouse Museum, Tel: 02 9217 0551/0422 9299 27 or firstname.lastname@example.org