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 HomeArticles › DeafBlind Man Sets Quadbike World Land Speed Record


NEWS RELEASE FROM DEAFBLIND UK

July 16, 2001

For immediate release

DEAFBLIND MAN SETS QUADBIKE WORLD SPEED RECORD

Graham Hicks (seated) with his Guinness quadbike world speed record, with Matt Coulter looking on.

On 21st May, Graham 'G-Force' Hicks from Peterborough, who is totally deaf and blind made it into the record books again. On the two mile airstrip at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in Leicestershire, Graham set the first ever quadbike world speed record at 99.26mph!

Graham, who has already set a record as the first person officially to jetski from Lands to the Scillies and back, teamed up with international quadbike stuntman Matt Coulter, ‘the Kangaroo Kid’ for the speed record. Driving Matt’s customised racing quad, fitted with a 500cc 4 cylinder 2 stroke engine, Graham took full control of the bike, while Matt rode pillion indicating right, left, straight ahead etc through a series of touch-based signals which Graham also uses when riding his jetski.

Hein le Roux, a researcher from Guinness, presented a certificate to Graham to the cheers of the many on-lookers, which included international hot-rod stuntman Terry Grant, British Touring Car Champion Matt Neal, and six camera crews!

Graham was delighted:

“It’s been a really exciting day but also very hard work. We had one dodgy moment when we nearly veered off course at almost 100mph but I brought the bike back under control. I’m really pleased to have set this record. It just goes to prove that being deafblind doesn’t need to bar you from doing anything. My next world record might be a tandem jump on a motorbike between two ramps or to jetski between Wales and Ireland. Watch this space for more details!”

Quadbike world speed record attempt
The quadbike world record attempt with Graham Hicks driving and Matt Coulter riding pillion.

What did the dare-devil Kangaroo Kid feel about sharing this exhilarating experience with Graham?

Small photo: Graham Hicks on the Suzuki LT racing quadbike with Matt Coulter as guide“It was a fantastic day. Graham did all the driving, I just acted as his eyes to navigate. To be honest, at times I was scared stiff as we were going so fast! We pulled over to adjust the bike after one run and my legs were shaking but Graham was laughing away! I’m more used to being in the driving seats doing whacky stunts, not sitting on the back!

“I’m so proud of Graham. Getting to know him when practicing and then doing the actual event has made me realize that disabled people are as capable if not more so than everyone else of achieving great things and fulfilling their ambitions.”

Graham is also Challenges coordinator for the national charity Deafblind UK and is hoping to raise several thousand pounds from the quadbike world speed record and subsequent fundraising events at motorbike shows which he and Matt will be attending.

“I really want to raise as much as possible for Deafblind UK’s appeal to fund the building of the first ever National Centre for Deafblindness. I have a lot of opportunities in life despite being deafblind; others aren’t so fortunate. But Deafblind UK is assisting thousands of people, who have lost or are losing both their sight and hearing, to maintain their independence and quality of life.”

Small photo: Graham Hicks (right) and Matt CoulterA final word from Matt:

“I’d really encourage people to continue to support Graham in this venture by donating to Deafblind UK. Graham’s my mate now and I really admire the way he’s out there and living, much more than a lot of able-bodied people. There’s nothing wrong with him, he just can’t see or hear. We make a great team!”

To make a donation, please call Deafblind UK on 01733 358100.

DEAFBLIND UK

For further information about Deafblind UK, click here for an overview, or visit our website at http://www.deafblinduk.org.uk/.

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