Team Essence takes on Gobi Desert challenge

27 April 2017: Inmarsat is supporting the latest Team Essence world record challenge with critical communications throughout a gruelling 1,400 mile (2,253 km) trek across the Gobi Desert.

Former military policeman Mathew Bennett, who last year skippered the first team to row the Atlantic from mainland Europe to mainland South America, raising over £120,000 for the NSPCC, is joined by fellow rower Luke Richmond and new Team Essence member Elise Hoefsmit. The team is again fundraising for the UK children’s charity.

The three adventurers set out on 16 April to cross the arid expanse of the Gobi in Mongolia from its western edge to far eastern corner. They are using only human power to drag custom-built trailers carrying up to 180 kilos of essential supplies including food, water, shelter and satcoms equipment.

As a Team Essence sponsor, Inmarsat is supplying two IsatPhone 2 satellite phones for safety communications and to stay in touch with family and friends during the expedition, which is expected to take between 50-70 days to complete. 

Tracking function

In addition, the built-in tracking function on the phones provides live updates every three hours on how Team Essence is progressing on its world record challenge.

The team has also been provided with an extremely compact Explorer 510 BGAN terminal, which can be used to send video and social media updates to fans worldwide, such as the post below:

Mathew said: “Having experienced what Mother Nature can throw at you in the ocean I’m now going to see what she can do in the desert. As we carve our way across the arid, barren lands, we constantly rely on calls to our recon teams to ensure we find our next safe water source.

“Knowing that with every step we take, we are raising money and awareness to support the amazing work the NSPCC does will keep us driven to the very end.”