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#LADScanmakeit! Phuket boys advance in Red Bull Challenge

Can you, yes you, travel for seven days across Europe with Red Bull as your only currency? That’s right, Red Bull, that sweet syrup packed with a punch made popular all across Thailand originally under the name Krating Daeng, literally translating to Red Bull in Thai, and later given a touch of the bubbly across the pond to compete in the soda-obsessed West.

By Sean Kelly

Sunday 8 March 2020, 11:00AM

Red Bull may give you wings, but it certainly cannot pay a tab, or a taxi fare, or even a room for the night. Or can it? That’s what three young lads raised in Phuket hope to achieve in the coming weeks – but they need your help.

Leon Carpenter, Angus Hamelton, and Danny James, who all spent their formative adolescent years here in Phuket and attended BISP, are representing team L.A.Ds (Get it… we’ll wait for you) in the “Red Bull Can You Make It” challenge.

So how does it work? First, teams across many nations submit a video and attempt to garner as many votes as possible. Next, a select number of teams that amassed enough votes, advance to the next round that is selected by judges and based on things like the team’s social media presence, public support and the overall marketability of the teams. Team L.A.Ds has already made it past round one, with the final round taking place this week, and that’s where you the reader come in. The #LADScanmakeit!

According to official Red Bull rules, finalist teams will receive complimentary flights to one of five starting points throughout Europe. Each team must relinquish all credit cards, cash and mobile phones. Teams will take off at the same time, each with a total of 24 cans of Red Bull to use as their only currency, and must reach Berlin within one week. Think Normandy but less barbed wire, bullets and blood and more caffeine, taurine, inositol and B vitamins.

So what are the rules these lads must play by?

According to Red Bull, teams will earn points on their journey in three ways: Completed Checkpoint Challenges, Social Score and Completed Adventure List Challenges.

As the lads learned in BISP, a code of honour is essential to maintain positive character and compete with distinction. The Red Bull Can You Make It? code of honour states that teams are not allowed to earn, accept or use any form of currency other than Red Bull. No use of personal or borrowed mobile phones, computers, tablets or other devices, except for the officially supplied event device.

Teams must use this officially supplied event device to upload photos, videos and other content along their journey and track their progress. No use of frequent flyer miles or pre-organised modes of travel, so that buddy you helped out on or that smelly backpacker in elephant pants making their way to Chang Mai is of no assistance to you now. A personal favourite rule, and notice the operative word, “No severe sabotage of the other participating teams.”

Being an international event, teams must act in accordance of the law in each respective country, no parting of the team at any time meaning that all travelling and checkpoint challenges much be completed as a threesome, although time may be allocated for bathroom breaks as an exception.

Each team must visit a minimum of six checkpoints and any violation of any of the rules will result in immediate disqualification. The team will then be responsible for its own safe transportation back home. Got it? Still think you can make it? The L.A.Ds know they can.

The Phuket News spoke with the L.A.Ds prior to the final vote and were excited to see them move on the next level. We now hope we can all help their march to Berlin.

Next Monday (March 9) is D-Day for all finalists as they learn whether they survived to make the final cut.

“We will then know if we will participate in the competition from April 21-28,” said Angus. “We made the top 53 in voting, and a panel of judges at Red Bull now decides who the top 13 are, presumably based on video quality, character bio, and other factors like social media ground swell,” he added.

Make no mistake about it, these globetrotters are Phuket boys. “I was born and raised in Phuket and went to BISP for 17 years, graduating in 2018. Due to my upbringing I consider Thailand my home, having spent the majority of my life there. Growing up in Phuket allowed myself, as well as Angus and Danny, opportunities for adventure and activities that may have taken us out of our comfort zone which is perfect preparation for this event,” said Leon.

“I lived in Phuket for 14 years,” said Angus, “and I’m a dual national with both a British and a Thai passport. I went to school at BISP for 12 years (with a four-year stint at boarding school in the UK), spending lots of time travelling between countries and struggling with boarding school, which I believe has really pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me how to grapple with new challenges, all whilst Thailand has managed to kept itself as my home.”

Danny told The Phuket News, “I personally came from South Korea back in 2011 and instantly fell in love with the laid-back but still exhilarating Phuket lifestyle. I went to BISP for all of my nine years in Phuket and am thankful for all the opportunities I was provided there.”

When asked about preparedness for the wild and wacky obstacles and checkpoint activities Red Bull is likely to throw at the L.A.Ds, Leon said, “I’d say we’re all very sporty individuals, however, we also enjoy activities such as wake boarding, rock climbing, surfing, flow boarding.” Asked about their experience with multicultural situations and the patience gained in Thailand that could prepare them from all that is Europe, with its many linguistic layers, Angus said, “Yeah, I think that’s one thing we’ve all learnt, having lived in a country that isn’t our own most of our lives, is patience and acceptance that we won’t always be able to communicate quickly but I feel we are very adaptable in that sense.

“As a confident group of individuals, we see the adventures list and challenges as an area in which we can achieve quite well. As a group, we have been working together from a young age, and our chemistry and team dynamism I believe will allow us to tackle problems in unique ways. On top of this, we have seen the social media reaction to our push for votes and our success through the voting phase gives me faith that we can also achieve good social media interaction during the event. Whilst with the race part, I imagine the key will be our adaptability and improvisation that will carry us.”

The boys got a nice bump of 200 votes to push them over the edge and remain a contender for the March 9 vote thanks in part to The Phuket News and the sharing of the story on social media. “Most definitely the push from The Phuket News helped us reach a market we wouldn’t have access to, as well as social media like Facebook Instagram and Snapchat, where posts are so easily shareable and resulted in a lot of support from our friends around the world in places such as Australia and the US,” said Angus. “Our parents also played a big part in helping promote us. I think they want to see us take part in the challenge as much as we do,” he concluded.

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