The capable trio of Chris Rawlings and brothers Mac and Steve MacKenney broke the 47-year-old record when they pulled their trusty Landie into Cape Town one day, 18 hours and 37 minutes faster than the 1963 record. Arriving in Cape Town dusty and exhausted, Mac MacKenney writes in his blog:
"… did we really drive all that way and in just 11 days?"
This epic trip through Africa was not all about breaking records; the team also raised funds for charity by driving flat out night and day. The funds raised from this record breaking overland journey were donated to a charity called Help for Heroes, which supports British servicemen and women wounded in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After years of planning and preparation these determined adventurers drove from London via France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Bulgaria in Europe and on through Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia in Asia. Crossing into Sudan by ferry the team tackled the desert tracks, long highways and potholed roads of Africa driving down through Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia, before travelling through Zimbabwe and into South Africa. The tenacious team reached Cape Town on October 28th having crossed endless border controls with several nerve-wracking delays, such as being held up for nearly four hours at the Ethiopian border.
Adrenalin ran high as the weary travelers reached their final goal post in Cape Town to be met by a welcoming reception of over 20 Land Rovers, an excited crowd and photographers! Mac MacKenney said:
"It suddenly hit home, we were at the finish and maybe we had actually achieved something special?"
After all the hard work and long hours of driving the MacKenney brothers were overwhelmed by emotions when they broke the record time from London to Cape Town, although Chris managed to remain calm. Mac MacKenney describes his feelings at the finish line when Steve broke into tears:
"I’d never seen him like this in 41 years and it was probably the closest moment we had ever had as brothers."
The going got tough and at times tensions rose between team members on this challenging race through Africa, as Mac goes on to say:
"There were moments during those 11 days when I really had had enough of him and would have been quite happy to leave him somewhere in the Sudanese desert, but to reach Cape Town as brothers, having succeeded together in this amazing adventure was something quite special."
The previous record achieved by Eric Jackson and Ken Chambers in a Ford Cortina GT back in the early 60’s was at 13 days, eight hours and 48 minutes.
The new record holders made some major improvements to their Land Rover, particularly to the brakes and tyres and report that:
"... our 10 year old Land Rover Discovery didn’t have one problem during the 10,000 mile dash from London."
Read more about the trials and tribulations, excitement and adventures of this record breaking drive through Africa on the Max Adventure blog.
If you would like to support this intrepid team's cause you can donate to Help for Heroes online.