Man vs plane: A380 1, athletes 0

2014-02-19 15:10
Cape Town - An extraordinary race delivered an incredible result for an amateur athlete who accepted a worldwide, online challenge from rugby star Bryan Habana and British Airways.  

The goal was simple: to try and emulate Habana’s 200-metre sprint against British Airways’ newest and largest aircraft, the A380 - a contest which the Springbok and Toulon winger narrowly won.

The clip of the original race has garnered nearly 2 million hits and was one of the top 10 most watched YouTube clips in South Africa last year. It also promoted lots of comments from people who thought they could do better.

That’s when British Airways launched #ManVsPlane "Challenge Accepted," an international online competition hosted on to pick challengers to take on the aircraft. Now the evidence of just how remarkable Habana’s achievement is up on YouTube for everyone to see.

Watch the video here

It shows the four runners, from the UK, Israel, France and South Africa, pitting their strength and mental determination against the A380s four Rolls Royce Trent-900 engines, each generating 70 000 pounds of thrust.  

Heidi Hawkes (30) from the UK, Elliot Havakuk (35), who has dual Israeli and UK citizenship, Julian Maderay (33), a French Air Force officer; and Rudolph Raath (23), a South African project manager, all put in huge efforts, but didn’t manage to beat the huge aircraft.

Home ground advantage and first-rate sporting credentials may have had something to do with the fact that Rudolph Raath came closest.

His 23.8 second 200m sprint has won him two business class tickets on the A380 from Johannesburg to London – something likely to impress his girlfriend who shares his passion for travel.  

“I’ve always loved playing sport and travelling, but never guessed that one would enable me to indulge the other. We were planning an overseas trip later this year anyway. This has made it a reality,” said Raath, who plays soccer, cricket and is training for a seventh Argus Cycle Tour.

But he isn’t the only winner.

Following the incredible success of the original video, British Airways offered to donate two Club World tickets to FoodBank SA, an organisation which facilitates the provision of 11 million meals in South African communities with the highest concentrations of hungry or malnourished people. Habana is the patron.

FoodBank SA rescues edible, donated food and where necessary procures basic foodstuffs, which it distributes to agencies, which run feeding programmes. 
Read more on:    bryan habana  |  travel  |  travel south africa  |  flights  |  air travel

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