Words: Lisa de Speville
If I wasn't the organiser of FEAT, I'd blow off the afternoon from work to attend FEAT Kids and FEAT on Thursday, 8 October 2015.
Two or three years ago I couldn't decide whether to go to Night 1 or Night 2 of the Trail Film Festival. Afflicted by FOMO, I went to both.
Last year I went to the media premier of the Banff Mountain Film Festival and then I went again with friends; and loved it all over again.
Yes, I'd go to both FEAT events without hesitation.
"Why?" you ask. "Because I so enjoy stories of adventures, images of destinations I've never even thought of and the people who get out there," I reply.
Having kept a lid on the line-up for weeks, I'm delighted to start introducing you to the speakers. First up, a FEAT Kids speaker, JeanJacques Wallis, and a FEAT speaker, Duncan Paul.
40% of the tickets for FEAT have already been booked... Reserve your seats through entrytickets.co.za - for both events!
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At age 13, JEANJACQUES WALLIS saw the world from a new perspective when he did his first tandem skydive. A week after his 16th birthday, he started an Accelerated Free Fall course at Skydive Pretoria. "Flying wasn't just in my dreams anymore, it was real. The sky and air became my playground," he says.
In 2014, with over 10 years of skydiving experience and 2500+ jumps, Jean-Jacques represented South Africa at the FAI World Canopy Piloting Championships and was awarded Senior Protea colours. He dedicates much of his time to Wingsuit Flying and Speedflying off mountains and he is an accomplished B.A.S.E jumper.
"Weather has a very big influence on these sports so when it is not jumpable or flyable I spend a lot of time in the mountains, exploring and scoping new places to fly," he says. He works as a FreeFall Photographer at Skydive Pretoria.
DUNCAN PAUL only started 'adventuring' 15 years ago. "Building a career, business, family and the costs are the main reasons that I’m a late starter. What is significant is that I have lead a hugely active life since my teens, " he explains.
Duncan has climbed Meru Peak in the Himalayas and also Kilimanjaro three times. He has skied the Last Degree to the South Pole, dog-sledded 260km to the North Pole, trekked the remote rain forests of the Congo River Basin, paddled the Arctic North on the edge of the pack ice looking for polar bears and kayaked 700km of the Zambezi River. In 2014, in a double kayak, Duncan paddled the Yukon River for the second time; this time for the Yukon 1000, a 1600-kilometre unsupported race through the Canadian and Alaskan Wilderness.
"Whilst my motto is 'Do it while I can and it is still there', age dictates that the pace may be slower but the distances can be longer!" he says.