O1 Challenge - Wayne Kurtz

Wayne Kurtz

CEO and Co Founder

Over the last 28 years, Wayne has tested himself and triumphed over hundreds of endurance races throughout the world including one of only 8 individuals to finish the 2013 Triple Decca Iron event in Italy (30 Ironman triathlons in 30 days). Pushing physical and mental boundaries is a personal mantra for Wayne and an underlying theme of The O1 Challenge. Wayne’s vision is to combine his intrepid love for adrenaline-inducing events with his extensive financial and entrepreneurial business acumen, to build the O1 global brand with a series of challenging events.

When he is not competing, Wayne organizes events around the world. He is the founder of the largest endurance racing resource in the world, RaceTwitch.com and the organizer of the Roads to Rhodes Marathon in Greece.

Wayne is a well-established author and his recent motivational books include, ‘Never Have to Say, I Wish I Had – 30 Days to Goal Achievement’, and ‘Stronger Than Iron’. He is the founder of two charitable foundations, RunForBooks and The O1 Challenge Foundation in support of less-privileged children.

O1 Challenge - Simon Hills

Simon Hills

President and Co Founder

After a successful ten-year career in finance, Simon, who by his very nature doesn’t do things by halves, made the arduous decision to leave the city with the sole aim of creating a high-end adrenaline fueled experience  ̶  The O1 Challenge!

Simon’s enthusiasm and determination behind the event was two-fold; to meticulously craft a once in a lifetime experience, mentally and physically challenging the elite contestants in a way that no other event does, whilst also donating generously to worthwhile charitable causes. This ideology is the very backbone of The O1 Challenge.

Always looking for the next challenge, Simon has co-created The O1 Challenge for his business counterparts, who have an intrinsic passion for speed, endurance power sports, and the inherent desire to succeed.

O1 Challenge - Roger Samtani

Roger Samtani

Head of Travel and Accommodations

Roger is the Founder and Managing Director of Lux Travel Consultants, a High-end  Virtuoso Agency that partners with the industry’s most exclusive suppliers worldwide, including Four Seasons, Aman Resorts, Mandarin Oriental, Leading Hotels of the World, Relais and Chateaux, Bulgari, Oetker Collection and a member of Uniglobe for their strength and partnership with the various airlines.

With 40 years of invaluable experience in the luxury travel industry and a sheer passion for travel, Roger and his team work for high net worth clients across the globe. Roger’s personal touch and charm, together with his hands-on knowledge of the most beautiful and luxurious travel experiences, make him a trusted advisor when it comes to tailor made travel.

Roger’s profound knowledge has been instrumental in designing the O1 itinerary, ensuring that O1 Contestants experience the most exclusive travel and accommodation throughout.

O1 Challenge - Paul Castleton

Paul Castleton

Head of Aviation

Paul has been a key player in the aviation industry for over a decade, both as a broker and an operator of aircrafts, as well as being involved in the sale and leasing of tailor-made private jets around the world. Paul’s extensive aircraft and operational knowledge has been fundamental in the logistical travel arrangements of The O1 Challenge.

Paul prides himself on his scrupulous attention to detail and the bespoke service he provides for his dedicated clients. Paul will be on-site for the duration of the O1 event and available 24/7 to discreetly deal with any special requests contestants may have.

O1 Challenge - Daniel Eden

Daniel Eden

Chief Challenge Organiser

For the past decade Daniel has designed and implemented over 50 of some of the most exclusive motoring and supercar events worldwide, whilst also organizing well-renowned motor sports festivals such as the ‘Unlimited Racing Motoring Festival’. Daniel’s passion for supercars, his extensive industry knowledge and network, along with his proven record of executing flawless events has made him an integral member of the O1 team.

As Chief Challenge Organizer, Daniel has created bespoke challenge-based concepts to test O1 contestants whilst also sourcing some of the most sought-after supercars. Based in Finland, the land of motor racing, Daniel is fully immersed in this exclusive adrenaline-based industry and has crafted a challenging and high-octane schedule for the 30 chosen O1 contestants.

O1 Challenge - George Zaras

George Zaras

Head of Risk Assessment

George has been in the Insurance industry for over 25 years and has founded his own agency to involve all forms and facets of the insurance world. He is very familiar with insuring unique challenges, whether it is a Marathon in Greece or the far-reaching events of The O1 Challenge. This vast all-encompassing insurance background is where George brings his strength in Risk Assessment to the O1 Team.

In addition to this, George is the Vice President to a number of charitable foundations including, ‘Run for Books’, which brings funds into the community of Rhodes, Greece.

Marek P - O1 Challenge

Marek Pantkowski

Head of Logistics

Marek has been organizing corporate and mass events for a number of years, exceeding some of the world’s most sophisticated expectations. He has over 20 years experience in developing tailor-made event concepts and his expertise will be invaluable in arranging logistics for The O1 Challenge.

Marek is a true competitor and his dedication and passion for power sport activities has made him a recognized face in the industry. In his free time Marek trains and competes in Triathlon which is his biggest passion.
O1 Challenge - James Finlay

James Finlay

Creative Director

James has spent the past 15 years honing his extensive photographic expertise. Having previously acquired an MA in Photography, in 2014 James was awarded Associate status of The Royal Photographic Society.

Over the years James’ work has been published in well-renowned newspapers and editorials around the world. He is a world-class photographer with past assignments ranging from North Pole expeditions to capturing treks up both Mt. Everest and Kilimanjaro. It is without doubt that James’ global photographic experiences will ensure every O1 contestant’s memories are captured in some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes and iconic cities.

O1 Challenge - Joel Parrella

Joel Perrella

Film and Media Director

For the past 10 years, Joel has developed and directed advertising and promotional campaigns for some of the world’s most well known endurance event companies and outdoor brands. During that time, he founded and continues to operate an international adventure and endurance focussed magazine, with his work being featured in a major motion picture. His expertise in orchestrating event and expedition coverage for film, web and print, has come from some of the world’s most remote locations, with conditions ranging from 40 to minus 40 celsius, captivating global audiences.

Joel’s attention to detail and expertise in live event and expedition coverage will ensure that the unique experiences from each challenge and its competitors, are documented in a way that highlights the spirit, competition, and camaraderie of the O1 Challenge.