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Overland Challenge - Team

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At Our Coldest

The following profiles are of those people who were involved in a substantial part of the expedition. Most of them did the whole journey, a few started from Moscow or Pevek or Alaska. You will also find profiles on those members who comprised the Overland Challenge Expedition's Base Camp. These mini biographies were relevant at the time of writing in 1994.

Richard Creasey, England (Team Leader)

Award-winning television documentary executive. Son of detective writer, John Creasey. This was Richard's third drive across the world.

Jeni Ballagh , Northern Ireland (Ford Car Driver)

Came to the Ford Overland Challenge through the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme. Undergraduate at the University of Ulster. Youngest member of the team.

Mark Bigwood, England (Ford Mechanic)

Enthusiastic mechanic who never tired and always looked on the bright side.

Richard Blanshard, England (Photographer)

Richard's photographic work on feature films has teamed him with actors including Anthony Hopkins, Mel Gibson, Sylvester Stallone, Keanu Reeves, Scott Glenn, Meg Ryan, Racquel Welch, Meg Ryan, Dennis Hopper, Theresa Russell and Arnold Schwarzengger.

Marielle Combe, France (Ford Car Driver)

One of three UNESCO representative members of the team.

Kees t'Hooft, Holland (Director Camerman)

Award-winning expedition cameraman. Has filmed at the top of the world on Everest, and all over the world for National Geographic and ITV.

Dieter Depping, Germany (Ford Car Driver)

Germany's leading rally driver. Three times winner of the German Rally Championship over three consecutive years - 1991, 1992 and 1993 - Dieter also won the Dutch championship in 1993 in a Ford Sierra Cosworth.

Peter Duncan, England (Ford Car Driver)

Born into a theatrical family. Perhaps best known in the UK as a Presenter of the Blue Peter BBC television series. Had his own TV series Duncan Dares in which he tried all sorts of dangerous stunts.

Robin Eggar, England (Journalist)

Joined the expedition at Pevek, Siberia. Consequently had an objective view of the strengths and weaknesses of the expedition.

Dr Paul Ford, England (Expedition Doctor)

Always there for the emergency, whether physical or emotional. Wholly uninterested in treating coughs and colds.

Major Peter George, Ireland (Logistics)

A former British Army Major, Peter was Gerry Brennan's Logistic Support 'on the ground' representative .

Volodya Glebov, Russia (Lead Ural Truck Driver)

Ever optimistic, helpful, and enormously competent as a driver and engineer. Led from the front when that was necessary, stayed in the background when that was more appropriate.

Ronny Hermon, Israel (Ford Car Driver)

Conscripted Israeli Army paratrooper. One of two UNESCO representatives for their Youth Reconciliation Programme. Joined the team in Pevek, Siberia.

Dion Jerling, South Africa (Ford Car Driver)

Moved to London in December 1986. Holds the rank of Bombardier in the Gun Troop of the Honourable Artillery Company, territorial army division.

Major General Victor Karputkin, Russia (Ford Car Driver)

A graduate of both the KGB College and Moscow State University and recently retired from the Red Army with the rank of Major General.

Valery Kudryavtsev, Russia (Logistics)

Logistics heavyweight for the East West Creative Association which organised the Russian leg of the journey.

Jeff Macinnis, Canada (Ford Car Driver)

In 1986 he and photographer Mike Bedell set out in an 18-foot catamaran to become the first to sail the Northwest Passage. Went on his first trip to the Arctic when he was just 10. Was a member of the Canadian World Cup Ski team.

Art Mortvedt, USA (Alaska Guide)

A bush pilot who has flown 3,000 flight hours throughout Alaska, and has been involved in 12 polar expeditions. He also raised and trained Alaska Husky sled dog teams for 10 years and is an Alaska Registered Guide taking clients on all types of wilderness expeditions.

Nicolai, Russia (Freelance Russian Driver)

One of only a handful of Russians who had driven all the way to Mys Shmidta, no one had ever gone further. After the storm he was known as Tundraman.

Maunia Qassam, Palestine (Ford Car Driver)

Former Palestinian Prisoner of War. One of two UNESCO representatives for their Youth Reconciliation Programme. Joined the team in Pevek, Siberia.

Vera Reich, Russia/USA (Translator)

Taught English at a Foreign Language College before emigrating from Russia to the USA working as a freelance translator.

Neil Roby, England (Ford Mechanic)

Very competent car mechanic albeit overshadowed by his Ford colleagues Paul Wilson and Mark Bigwood.

Victor Nickoliavitch Tarnov, Russia (Logistics)

Logistics leader for the East West Creative Association which organised the Russian leg of the journey.

Rupert Wilbraham, England (Logisitics)

Eton educated organiser extraordinaire who researched the route across Russia by helicopter and was a key logistics person from start to finish. Fluent in Russian.

Paul Wilson, England (Chief Ford Mechanic)

Tireless leader who kept the Ford cars going to the very end of the road at the same time as gaining the respect of every member of the team.

Saha Zhmaev, Russia (Ford Car Driver)

Chosen as a car driver representative by the UralAZ, Russian sponsors of the Ford Overland Challenge.

Base Camp

Gerry Brennan (Logistics)

Set up Logistics Support which ran the Camel Trophy for many years. Selected by Ford to organise the logistics of the European and North American legs of the expedition.

Wendy, Simon, Guy and Sarah Creasey (Family)

Richard Creasey's wife and children.

Roger James (Television Executive)

Close friend and Richard Creasey's successor as Controller of Documentaries at Central Television.

Mike Lomas (Television Director)

Catapulted in by Producer Mike Nunn to get the sequences that the expedition film team might miss.

Karen Miller (television Executive)

Worked with Richard Creasey as an executive at Central Television's Special Projects department and Meridian Broadcast's Factual Programmes division.

Igor Nossov (Logistics)

Chief Fixer at the East West Creative Association which organised the Russian leg of the journey.

Mike Nunn (Television Producer)

Series producer of the 9 x 30 minute ITV and Discovery Channel documentary television programmes which were filmed and transmitted 'live'.

Stepan Pojenian (Logistics)

Deputy General Director General of the East West Creative Association. Stepan was the inspirational logistics chief of the Russian leg of the journey.

John Raymond (Logistics)

Tireless, hugely efficient UK based Managing Director of the East West Creative Association which organised the Russian leg of the journey and held the rights to the project.

Robbie Stamp (Television Executive)

Executive at Central Television's Special Projects department responsible for getting UNESCO signed up.

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