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Father-of-two hoping to beat World Record by skiing in 30 countries in 28 days to land in Inverness

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By Hannah Cottrell, PA

James Dick.
James Dick.

A father-of-two has faced a volcanic eruption and a “hectic” schedule in his attempt to break a Guinness World Record by skiing in 30 countries in 28 days.

James Dick (50), has tackled the slopes in more than 20 counties so far, including Germany, Italy, Norway and Iceland, hitting eight countries in the first three days of his challenge.

He is aiming to head to several countries this week, including Croatia and Romania, before he completes his month-long venture in Inverness on January 28.

While his Guinness World Record attempt has yet to be made official, Mr Dick said he is hoping he has broken the current mark which sits at 17 countries in 21 days, as when he was in Sweden he had skied in 19 countries in 12 days.

With the challenge, he is fundraising for two charities close to his heart, The National Brain Appeal and Saint Francis Hospice, raising more than £10,000 so far.

“I found out the current record was 17 (countries) in 21 days so I thought I’d give that a good go,” Mr Dick, from Romford, east London, and currently living in Hong Kong, said.

“I believe I equalled the record in 10 (days) in Norway and broke it in 11 (days) in Sweden.”

The avid skier, who has been taking part in the sport since the age of five, said the challenge has been “hectic” and “super-tiring”.

“It’s been increasingly harder to reach each country because there’s been a lack of snow in some places, travel distances, you can’t drive through various countries,” he said.

“I’ve now got to try and do 10 (countries) in 11 days – it’s a bit hectic and it’s exhausting looking at the plan I’ve come up with but I think I can do it.”

James Dick.
James Dick.

Mr Dick says he now plans to base himself in Istanbul.

“On Monday, I'll fly to Serbia, Tuesday, Croatia, Wednesday, Romania and Thursday, Bosnia.

“Then on Saturday, I’ll go from Istanbul to Inverness and ski in Scotland and then I’ll be finished – so that should be 30 (countries) in 28 days.”

Mr Dick was in Iceland at the time of the recent volcanic eruption near the town of Grindavik in the south-west region of the country.

“I thought I had a full day in Iceland which would be nice and relaxed and I thought I might get a hot spring in,” he said.

“I woke up to my friend going ‘go, go, go’ as a volcano had erupted 27 clicks away.

“That was insane, it was a bit surreal.

“I thought I’d better get out in case the winds changed and then I got stuck in Iceland and couldn’t complete the challenge – it was a bit crazy.”

Mr Dick is fundraising for two charities with his challenge and has a target of £15,000.

“I turned 50 in November and I always wanted to do something for charity and these are two very close charities to my heart,” he said.

“They are probably two charities that don’t get a lot of awareness and press, so someone has to fight their corner.

“I’m overjoyed it’s over £10,000.”

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