Crawley man’s sand buggy adventure

jpco 14-1-15 Sand buggy charity trip (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150113-105607001
jpco 14-1-15 Sand buggy charity trip (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150113-105607001

Two men plan to drive a sand buggy on a 2,000 mile round trip to Monaco.

Rikki Kay, who bought himself the buggy for his 30th birthday, and his friend Gareth Griffin will take on the trip through “untouched” France in the summer.

Rikki, 30, of Crawley, said: “We won’t be sticking to the motorways - it would be exploring the back roads of France and seeing all the untouched areas which the tourists haven’t ruined yet.

“I’m quite adventurous, I like to go off exploring.

“I was looking at what my passions are in life and what I wanted to do something with myself for the new year.”

His friend Gareth Griffin, 30, of Furnace Green, will join him.

The pair, who met at Central Sussex College in 2001, will travel and camp cheaply for about ten days.

Rikki, who builds buses, was inspired to buy the buggy at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

He said: “I’ve always been a bit of a gear head.

“I just felt I needed something for myself and went out and got something different.

“I’m a very positive person and that’s why I’m doing this trip.”

Rikki hoped the undertaking would raise thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK.

He said Gareth’s mother Sandra died of cancer in 2014.

Coral, a close friend of Rikki’s, was given the all clear for ovarian cancer that year.

Rikki said Coral’s cancer diagnosis prompted him to start donating to the charity in 2013.

He said: “As soon as everything happened I literally went straight online and started donating ten pound a month instantly.

“We are very very close, it was just very close to home for me.

“There was a potential that I might lose one of my very closest friends.”

Rikki said he took time off to visit her in the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton.

He continued to give to Cancer Research UK after she got the all clear.

He said: “I just think that with financial backing of more people they could develop better vaccines.

“A lot of the cost is to do with the actual production of vaccines.”

Rikki planned to contact Formula One companies for sponsorship.

He had driven the buggy a number of times on mud courses since his birthday in June.

He planned to add parts to it to reduce the risk of it breaking down on the trip.

It was his “main concern” regarding the trip.

The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most famous racing events in the world.