Where’s Brendon? The Long Drive 2021 in association with The Long Paddle 2021
Posted: 21st July 2021
Priority Pixels in association with The Long Paddle 2021 presents The Long Drive 2021
The Long Drive 2021 competition
The idea behind The Long Drive 2021 was simple. Always up for a spontaneous road trip, Nathan and his wife Louise were going to drive overnight up to the north coast of Scotland to catch Brendon as he paddled past Cape Wrath, his first major milestone – the official halfway point in The Long Paddle 2021 journey around mainland Britain. To raise awareness of The Long Paddle 2021 campaign, Priority Pixels decided to give away a GoPro Hero 9 to one of his supporters. Brendon himself would announce the winner of the competition when Nathan and Louise caught up with him. It was up to the team back at Priority HQ to get news of the competition out there.
Despite initial misgivings about the unruly and unpredictable nature of the North Sea, Brendon paddled across the north coast without a hitch. In fact, he’s made his entire journey look like a piece of cake – the cheek of it, honestly. Can you believe in the three months he’s been away he’s only fallen from his board once? You can thank the orcas in the North Sea for that one.
What is The Long Paddle 2021?
If you’ve been living under a rock, you may not be aware of The Long Paddle 2021. Welshman and adopted Devonian Brendon Prince is on a mission to circumnavigate mainland Britain on a standup paddleboard – the first person to do, ever. He’s raising money for several charities including his own non-profit Above Water, and for the development of the world’s first water safety app.
Photo by WR Photography
What is Brendon’s water safety app?
The Long Paddle 2021 is about more than just raising money for charity and shattering world records. Brendon’s life was changed forever after he was unable to save the lives of three souls at Mawgan Porth Beach in 2014. An off-duty lifeguard at the time, he’s dedicated his life to water safety ever since, founding Above Water and starting work on the world’s first water safety app. Brendon believes there isn’t nearly enough emphasis on water safety in the UK – despite the fact we’re an island nation that frequently visits the ocean during our long hot summer months.
Brendon’s water safety app will be designed and developed as a series of interactive challenges and will be more than just text and simple infographics. Users of the app, particularly children and young adults, will be able to play games that teach them about water safety and the importance of keeping your wits about you on the British coast in a fun and innovative way. The app will include accessible, easy-to-read information about low tide and high tide, and will be available on mobile and desktop. What’s more, Brendon wants to provide his app to schools and education providers free of charge. He isn’t out for fame or notoriety nor financial gain but simply wants the British public to see the importance of water safety and staying safe out on our coasts. Legend.
The Long Drive 2021 is born
The team at Priority Pixels are proud supporters of Brendon and his team. We built The Long Paddle website, and almost three months since Brendon paddled out of Torquay we still tune in daily to his live videos on social media. So when we came into the office one morning and realised he was fast approaching the halfway point of his adventure, the team immediately leapt at the chance to raise awareness for Brendon’s mission. It wasn’t long before our Marketing Director Nathan came up with the brilliant idea of journeying up to Scotland to meet with the Long Paddle crew, including Brendon’s support team Harry and Will, at their halfway point. Nathan soon dubbed his own campaign #TheLongDrive2021, and the team at Priority Pixels got to work once again.
Coffee in hand we took to Facebook to drum up support. All you had to do to enter the competition was post a water-based photo as announced via a breaking news bulletin on our Facebook page. Brendon would pick his favourite when Nathan caught up with him somewhere on the north coast of Scotland. We were guessing that would be somewhere between Cape Wrath and John O’ Groats, but at the sheer nautical speed Brendon was getting up to on his paddle board anything could happen.
The competition takes off
The Long Drive 2021 would take Nathan and Louise to the further reaches of mainland Britain, to the wild and rugged north coast of Scotland. The office was a flurry of activity as we prepared for their whopping 12-hour road trip. The social media team were hard at work, creating content, replying to supporters on social media and tagging various news outlets in our posts. From ITV News and BBC Spotlight to Good Morning Britain and Devon Live, no one is safe.
As Nathan and Louise packed their bags, the staff in the office were busy keeping track of competition entries – and of Brendon as he hurtled around the north coast. By the time The Long Drive 2021 began, we had over 50 entries and Brendon was closing in on his goal. The photographs ranged from surfing and paddle boarding to wild swimming and kayaking. It appeared (unsurprisingly) that supporters of The Long Paddle 2021 love the water.
The Long Drive 2021 arrives in Scotland: Coffee and a sausage bap for brekkie
In the early hours of Friday morning, Nathan gave us a quick update – much like The Long Paddle’s own updates. He’s in Stirling, and he’s just finished off a coffee and a bap from a local service station. The birds are chirping and the sun is filtering in through the trees.
Before long Nathan and Louise have reached the north of Scotland and are out looking for Brendon. The comments are rolling in from curious followers of Priority and The Long Paddle alike – #WheresBrendon?
Nathan and Louise find Brendon, Will and Harry chilling under a tree as cool as cucumbers. Although the live stream is a little pixelated, Brendon and his team are looking well. It would be another 24 hours before the winner of our competition was announced. Back at Priority HQ, an Instagram reel is compiled to Gary Numan’s ‘Cars’ and posted across our social media. The crowd goes wild. Supporters of Brendon’s cause are posting, sharing, and commenting. We’re all excited to see how the Long Paddle crew having been getting on.
The Long Drive 2021 winner is announced
The next day Brendon is back live on social media – but this time he’s got a special guest. Brendon introduces Nathan who tells an audience of over 400 viewers why he just drove 12 hours overnight.
“It’s this guy,” Nathan says, gesturing at Brendon who smiles at the camera.
Photo by WR Photography
He encourages everyone to go check out the Long Paddle campaign and support the endeavour. Brendon announces the winner of the competition – it’s Jerrie Roberts with her image of wild swimming in Teignmouth.
The Long Paddle 2021 heads south
A few days later Brendon shares some exciting news over social media – he’s heading South. For the first time since the crew left Torquay, Brendon, Will and Harry are heading home.
It’s been three months of unforeseen weather, wildlife, tidal flows, and lost paddles – and the Long Paddle crew have persisted. The team at Priority Pixels look forward to welcoming the lads home in (hopefully) just a few weeks. We also can’t wait to see Brendon’s world-class app take on the world.
If you want to support The Long Paddle 2021 and donate to the development of the world’s first water safety app then be sure to check out the campaign on social media and online. You can sponsor Brendon’s mission here.