A chance holiday meeting bore fruit this weekend when three students managed to make it to Tokyo on Jailbreak.
The three New College students – Charlie Parkes, Robert Harris and Caitlin Place – made it to the Japanese capital in what is an unprecedented feat in the history of the RAG event.
Their free round trip tickets were provided courtesy of Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin, which includes Virgin Airways.
The trio made it there and back in 36 hours, travelling an estimated 5,967 miles and wearing Pikachu onesies for the duration. They have raised an estimated £1500 for charity so far.
The feat was made possible after one of the travellers bumped into Branson abroad. Caitlin Place was on holiday in the Carribean when she spied the celebrated CEO and approached him to request his help.
Teammate Rob Harris explained: “The main thing was Caitlin bumped into Richard Branson in the Carribean a few weeks ago and went up to him, asked him if he’d help us, and he said “Sure, here’s my email address, send me an email and I’ll see what I can do.’”
Branson replied to the email within 20 minutes, promising the team free return flights to anywhere in the world.
Harris commented: “It’s obviously not really the traditional impromptu jailbreak experience but if you’re offered tickets by Richard Branson then you’re hardly going to say no.”
The team managed to spend around six hours in the centre of Tokyo, sightseeing, sampling the cuisine and meeting locals. “We had some local food,” Harris said: “We had some noodles and things but mainly fried chicken…what else did we do? We had a lot of coffee….”
The Pikachu onesies were a hit with the locals, with some even asking for photos, including a group of fellow onesie-wearers in unicorn suits.
The suits were also excellent travel attire – according to Harris: “Pikachu onesies are really really warm and comfy.”
The trip was not entirely disaster-free, however. Parker managed to accidentally injure teammate Place whilst in transit. “Charlie broke Caitlin’s nose,” said Harris.
“He was listening to some music on his headphones and then he just smashed it on my face,” Place explained: “It’s a little bit bent now.”
Readers can be assured that no lasting injury was sustained.
When asked what they had taken away from the experience, Place commented only: “Learning how to sleep on a tray table.”