Mike Newman, 52 is quite the remarkable man. Alongside his great team – Speed of Sight – and his army of supporters and fans he has managed to achieve some great records over the last 12 years, and recently he has set not one but two simultaneous world records for the Blind Land Speed and Water Speeds.
Speed of Sight is a charity organisation committed to the promotion of opportunity for all. The team make efforts in many areas because they believe that people who are able to take part in a sporting or physical activity find that it helps with their self- esteem, social interaction and physical and mental wellbeing. With this is mind Speed of Sight, inspired by Mike Newman, come together to provide a new experience for people with disabilities in the form of motor sport and that is the underlying purpose behind Mike leading the way with his challenges and high-octane endeavours.
Despite being totally blind, Mike decided to ignore his visual disability and sought to embrace his passion for speed. His first experience was in 2001 when he rode an Aprilia Falco 2000cc V twin
superbike and reached 89mph after only 3 days practice.
This was only the beginning and since then Mike has achieved several incredible feats including the World Blind Arial Acrobatic Record in 2011.
Further to his successful Blind Land Speed Record just recently where he achieved 186mph driving a Porsche GT2, we caught up with Mike:
“My team and supporters quite clearly have faith in me and my abilities as the car I drove for the recent land speed record actually belongs to my good friend Mark Cowne of Kruger Cowne Talent agency and the boat was kindly provided by Drew Langdon at Bullett Offshore Racing Team.” he told us during a telephone conversation.
For the water speed attempt, Mike and the Speed of Sight teamed up with international powerboat ace Drew Langdon and his offshore race team, Bullet racing and the Silverline powerboat. Drew and his boat “Silverline” already hold world records for speed but had never had a blind skipper until last Friday.
“We travelled down to Torquay Harbour early on the day of the attempt ready for the team to leave the harbour at 9am sharp. Despite the dreadful weather the team set off in the Silverline Powerboat, with Drew manning the throttle and directing whilst Mike steered.” said a member of the Bullet Offshore Racing team.
￼Mike made two runs in opposite directions achieving an average speed in excess of 93.5mph and a top speed of 102mph, breaking the previous record of 91mph. After the successful attempt Mike said:
“I’m so pleased that we have managed to stick to our guns, despite all the dreadful weather. Silverline has been prepared now for quite a long time, we’ve been talking about it for many, many months, and today it has all come together. With Drew’s help and courage, we’ve been very successful and I’ve experienced an unbelievable experience.”
When asked what Mike was planning next he told us:
“I have so much more to do yet. But aside from the great challenges I put myself through, the underlying purpose is to be able to provide something for both abled and disabled people interested in enjoying the off road and on-road driving experience and that is the long term goal of the ‘Speed of Sight’ charity. In addition to this, I hope we can inspire anyone to pursue what they love doing regardless of any setbacks or challenges that may constrict them from doing so. After all, that’s a key part of life!”
Mike is an inspiration to many around the world, and truly GUAVO in every sense!
You can watch Mike completing the land speed record as covered by the BBC – www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-24235219
VIDEO CREDIT: Bullet Offshore Racing Team
PHOTO CREDIT: Speed of Sight Team provided for #thisisguavo Media
For Mike’s next challenges the team are opening up enquiries for sponsorship, licensing and support worldwide so for enquiries get in touch.
Media and General Enquiries by email via: [email protected]