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Zipliner, 79, wants to skydive on 80th birthday

UAE-based Briton who became the oldest man to whiz on world’s longest zip line readies for another adrenaline-fuelled adventure

Image Credit: Supplied
Retired Lt Col David Neild ziplining over the Jebel Jais mountains in RAK
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Ras Al Khaimah: Ever since 1959 when he became the youngest officer to serve in the legendary Trucial Oman Scouts at the age of 20, Lt Col David Neild has always enjoyed a challenge.

Sure enough, the Briton, now 79 and retired, didn’t think twice before picking up another gauntlet – trying Toro Verde, the world’s longest and fastest zip line in his hometown Ras Al Khaimah.

Adrenaline-fuelled adventure

Last month, Neild became the oldest man to experience the adrenaline-fuelled adventure at the picturescue Jebel Jais mountain.

“The whole experience - from being kitted and flipped over to whiz in the air at velocities of close to 120 kilometres per hour is not just exhilarating but totally worth it, particularly the time when you’re about to reach the platform after being suspended for nearly two minutes and then all the way back to the final descent,” Neild said.

Unstoppable

Raring to go. David Neild in zip line gear at Toro Verde in Ras Al Khaimah minutes before the ride.

“I understand a lot of people who’re of my age are scared to try something extreme. It’s true that our bodies are weak and our recoveries are slower than usual, but in my opinion you can’t completely stop doing things you’ve always enjoyed,” added Neild, who turns 80 on December 1.

And how does he plan to celebrate his birthday?

“By skydiving. “I’ve always wanted to try that and now seems like a good time,” added Neild, who wrote a book titled A Soldier in Arabia which comprises his memoirs in the UAE.

Neild has previously participated in car rallies while he served the military in Kenya and tried the tree-top zip wire in South Africa a couple of years ago.

“Absolutely nothing compares to the Toro Verde (RAK zip line) here,” said Neild. “ I am hoping to do it all over again when my grandchildren visit me later this year.”

Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAK Tourism said, “I’m so glad that David accepted our kind invite and took up the challenge. Unlike roller coasters, the zip line is a smooth ride which is suitable for everyone of all ages. British explorer Ranulph Fiennes, who is a little younger than David, also tried the zip line a while ago. In fact, we also hosted a nine-year old recently, who is probably the youngest person to try it.”

The Toro Verde – Ras Al Khaimah, which was unveiled on February 1 measures 2.83 kilometres and the average speed ranges from 120 to 160km/h.

To book your zip line adventure visit: www.toroverdeuae.com

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