Over the last 2 decades, Charley Boorman has made a name for himself as a motorcycle adventure rider, mainly due to his exploits in the Long Way series with Welsh actor, Ewan McGregor.
Most recently, between September and December 2019, the duo and their crew embarked on a 12,000-kilometer transcontinental adventure from Patagonia in Argentina throughout South America and finally to Los Angeles in the USA. That adventure was the third installment of the Long Way series, dubbed as the “Long Way Up”. They were onboard two Harley-Davidson Livewire electric motorcycles which were modded with Pan America 1250 parts to take on the massive journey.
This year, Charley Boorman, along with a mix of celebrity friends (10 persons), will embark on a 2-day, 48-kilometer stand-up paddleboard endurance challenge in support of the men’s mental health charity movement, Movember. Movember is the same charity supported by the global Distinguished Gentleman's Ride. The group will set off on the 17th of May along Basingstoke Canal in the UK.
Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a water sport derived from surfing, developed in the world's surfing capital, Hawaii. As the name implies Stand-up paddle boarders stand on surfboards and use a paddle (rather than waves) to propel themselves through the water. The sport was documented in a 2013 report that identified it as the outdoor sporting activity with the most first-time participants in the United States that year. Variations include flatwater paddling, racing, surfing, whitewater SUP, yoga, and fishing.
Charley Boorman is a vocal supporter of multiple charities and is a cancer survivor himself. “Our paths (Boorman and Ben Bowers) crossed through a mutual friend and we became friends for life. When Ben asked me to get involved in the expedition to highlight men’s health and mental health, I jumped at the chance,” said Boorman.
Ben Bowers, the expedition organizer, along with Boorman, hopes that the trip will inspire men all over the world that no matter how difficult the situation may be, “looking to friends for support and sharing the experience can be a good way to get through the tough times.”
“Having had a pretty tough year as everyone has in 2020, I was in need of doing something positive not only for myself but for other men. I’ve had worse years through my cancer fight and I was able to draw upon the resilience built through those experiences to stay mentally well in lockdown. For me keeping mentally well meant getting outside and engaging with nature.”