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Brothers to recreate grandfather's historic win

Simon and Daniel Maughan will echo their grandfather Air Vice-Marshal Charles Maughan's 1959 historic flight but rather than air power they will be travelling under pedal power – all in support of the RAF Benevolent Fund.

The original event was staged by the Daily Mail in 1959 to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1909 Bleriot flight from Calais to Dover. AVM Maughan raced from Marble Arch to a helipad which took him to a waiting Hawker Hunter at Biggin Hill and across the Channel to the Arc de Triomphe in just 40 minutes and 44 seconds.

Arch to Arc Ride RAF Benevolent Fund

Now 60 years later, his grandsons will team up with a group of cyclists to tackle the same distance, setting themselves the target of 40 hours and 44 minutes.

Simon explained: "Although we will be crossing the English Channel by ferry, we will be cycling from the Marble Arch to the port and from the port to the centre of Paris – a total of 241miles in just over 40 hours!"

Two groups of cyclists will join the brothers, one will be attempting the challenge within the deadline of 40 hours and 44 minutes, and another who will travel at a more leisurely pace.

The two groups will converge in Dieppe and, joined by AVM Maughan's son David, Simon and Daniel's father, they will cycle into Paris together. There waiting for them will be the trophy which AVM Maughan was presented with on winning the Bleriot Anniversary Race.

Arch to Arc Ride RAF Benevolent Fund

Heather Kemp, RAF Benevolent Fund Regional Fundraiser, said: "This is an incredible challenge with an amazing link to the past. It is especially significant as it comes in the year the Fund also marks a milestone – its 100th anniversary.

"To mark our centenary, we have launched a campaign to reach even more serving and retired RAF personnel in need, something we simply could not do without the support of fundraisers like Simon and Daniel."

Simon, who lives in Frome, added: "My grandfather loved a challenge, he was a very active person so he would have loved what we have planned.

"The RAF Benevolent Fund is a very special charity and I am honoured to be paying tribute to my grandfather by fundraising for them."

The cyclists will depart on 1 August. If you would like to support them, please visit archtoarc.org.

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