Remember the guy on eBay who traded up from a paperclip to a house? There’s a contest sort of like that, except three Students’ Union executives will have to barter their way across Europe with only 24 cans of Red Bull.
Red Bull’s Can You Make It? event challenges 100 teams to travel from one of four starting cities to Berlin in under a week. Teams consist of university-aged threesomes from around the world. Teams can only use cans of Red Bull to haggle for food, shelter and transportation on the road to Berlin.
SU vice-president operations and finance Eric Termuende, vice-president external Conner Brown and vice-president student life Ben Cannon form the Executive Team. Team Grizzly from HEC-Montreal and Salmon Force 5 from the University of British Columbia are the two other Canadian teams.
Cannon said he and his teammates are doing their best to prepare for the competition.
“I’ve been Googling all sorts of things I could see as potentially useful. We’ve been looking up hitchhiking tips for Europe,” Cannon said. “We can’t really plan anything out ahead of time. If they catch you doing that you’re disqualified. It’s going to be a lot of thinking on our feet and improvising our way there.”
Checkpoint challenges will be waiting for contestants in 30 European cities. If teams complete the challenges, they get more Red Bull to barter with. Each team must visit six checkpoints.
The competition’s Code of Honour says no personal cell phones can be used, no acts of sabotage may be committed and no team can split up. Red Bull is supplying teams with a phone so they can check in with organizers and log their barters.
“I think it’s pretty standard for something like this. You pretty much just sign your life away to Red Bull for a week,” Brown said. “I remember last night going through all the things they cover you for. At one point it’s like ‘we do not accept liability for if you slip and fall, or if a branch falls on you,’ which is fair.”
The competition runs from April 4–11, giving the executives enough time to make it home for BSD and train their successors.