Richard Meredith-Hardy, Talks and presentations
Richard Meredith-Hardy is available to do talks and presentations on a number of
the expeditions and events he has been involved with.
The standard duration of a presentation is 1 hour 45 minutes, but they can be tailored to be as short as 45 minutes and as long as 2 hours 15 minutes. All include stunning still images and video footage, some of it completely unique.
Over Everest Expedition.
Richard gives a detailed account of the implementation of this extremely ambitious project
in 2004 to tow a hang-glider over the highest mountain in the World. Temperatures of -40°c, a 'time of useful consciousness' of only a few seconds if the oxygen system failed, short rough airstrips on the edge of chasms and extremely changable weather were only a few of the challenges which had to be met.
The presentation includes some interesting archive material of various earlier attempts to fly over Everest from 1933 to the present day which helps to explain some of the things which can go wrong in a place described as 'the most dangerous place in the World'. Despite the detailed preparation, not everything went exactly to plan and he shows some extremely dramatic video of some unplanned moments, but it ends in success and the first ever aerial photos of climbers standing on the summit of Everest.
London to Capetown by microlight.
Richard was the first person to fly a microlight from London to Capetown between August l985 and July l986. He devised, organised and funded the Trans Africa Microlight Expedition which took him a World record distance of 10,000 miles in the days when microlights had highly unreliable two stroke engines and modern GPS navigation systems were not yet available. He flew from London, through France, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana to Cape Town, South Africa.
The talk includes descriptions of what it's like to travel the length of Africa by both land and air and some of the more difficult parts of the journey which included the first flight over the Alps by microlight, the longest ever unsupported sea crossing (Across the Mediterranean from Crete to Alexandria), the first crossing of the Sahara desert by microlight, safe overflight of the civil wars in Southern Sudan and Uganda and the first attempt to fly over Mount Kilamanjaro, reaching 18,100 feet, just 1,200 feet below the summit.
ThrustSSC and JCB DieselMax World Land Speed Records.
Richard was flying microlights on boundary patrol and photographic missions over both of these successful World Land Speed attempts by driver Andy Green. Of the 1997 Richard Noble led ThrustSSC he managed to capture on film the first and only shots of a supersonic shockwave
generated by a car from his position 500 ft above Black Rock desert, Nevada USA.
His talk gives a unique insight into the trials and tribulations of such a huge project run on something of a shoestring budget compared to the lavishly funded 2006 JCB DieselMax expedition to Bonneville salt flats, Utah USA to break the diesel-powered wheel-driven land speed record.
London to Sydney by microlight.
Richard explains how, with twelve hours notice, he got involved in this expedition
in 2007 to fly with blind co-pilot Miles Hilton-Barber half way around the World in a microlight to Sydney, Australia.
They had a very tight time schedule which meant no stopping for bad weather or anything else. They had temperatures of -16°c over Lebanon, gigantic international airports in the Gulf, massive bureaucracy in India, no fuel in Burma, monsoon rains in Malaysia, tremendously long sea crossings in Indonesia, but the story tells how they eventually flew at low level up Sydney harbour on the planned date, 22 countries, 55 days and 21,392 Km after leaving London.
Richard describes his currently on-going project
to fly a microlight over the highest mountain in each continent in the World. The presentation includes the three succesful expeditions thus far, to Everest in Nepal in 2004, Aconcagua in Argentina in 2006 and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in 2008, and concludes with a brief overview of the ones to come.
The presentation describes with some extraordinary stills and video how each expedition completed thus far had its own problems and challenges and how they were met.
A3 size printed posters are available to publicize Over Everest presentations, or an A4 sized version is available to print
Richard will be equipped with a laptop computer and a simple sound system, the presentation is shown using MS Powerpoint. The organizer must provide a digital projector, a screen and suitable extension leads with two sockets. Optionally, the organizer should also provide a means of connecting the laptop into the auditorium's sound system.
Pete Croney. Entertainment Officer, 2008 BMAA Wight Party
Great Britain has a long history of producing adventurers. These people have
achieved what was believed to be impossible by those that could dream and
have achieved things never even consider by us mere mortals. The latest
person to join the list of Great British Adventurers is Richard Meredith Hardy.
In June 2008 I asked Richard Meredith Hardy if he would do a presentation to
members of the British Microlight Aircraft Association, at their annual event on
the Isle of Wight.
Richard’s talk was superb and he captivates his audience from start to finish.
Not only are Richard’s exploits fascinating, but he is able to recount them in a
way that really shares the highs and lows encountered on his adventures.
Although the audience at our event were mostly pilots, our non flying guests
enjoyed Richard’s presentation at least as much as those with an aviation
interest and in many cases more. To non aviators the whole tale was all the
more incredible without a detailed understanding of the equipment he used.
Whether you have an interest in aviation or not, if you have the chance to
hear and see one of Richard’s presentations I thoroughly recommend that you
Stephen Venables. President of the Alpine Club, first Briton to climb Everest without oxygen.
Just when we thought there were no more great adventures to be had on Everest, Richard Meredith-Hardy proves us all wrong. His airborne ascent was a bold, brilliant, terrifying achievement: his telling of the story is intelligent, funny and visually stunning.
Chris Finnigan. Chief Executive, British Microlight Aircraft Association
Having been lucky enough to see Richard's presentation at Telford, I strongly recommend that any red-blooded microlight pilot with even a hint of adventure in his or her soul should see Richard recounting his incredible expedition culminating in the Everest Flight. His typically English understatement and self-deprecating style actually enhance the audience experience; Richard talking "matter of factly" about things that would bring most of us out in a cold sweat literally brought gasps of amazement from the audience at Telford. But Richard wasn't just talking, his incredible still and video images brought the whole adventure to life and showed quite clearly the scale and magnificence of the Himalayas and of the flight itself.
Not to be missed!
Paul Deegan. Was on the SE Ridge of Everest as Richard flew over, and reached the Summit an hour later.
Many thanks for a delivering seat-of-your pants lecture last night. Your enthusiasm and experience, combined with some scary footage and gorgeous photography made it a night to remember.
John Edgley. Chairman, Light Aviation Group, Royal Aeronautical Society.
The lecture was most interesting, and attracted an exceptionally good turnout, many of whom had never visited the Aeronautical Society before. The lecture culminated in a very enthusiastic exchange of questions and answers and who knows, perhaps encouraged other microlight pilots to attempt original and interesting flights for themselves. I can thoroughly recommend the lecture to anyone who hasn't yet heard it.