Long Way Down Trophy

Start Date: Mar 22, 2014

Finish Date: Jan 22, 2017

Time Control
Games Rated
Avg Rating
Rating Range
Points Available
Max Group Size
# Advance
Simultaneous Games
Completed Games
Tie Breaks
Remaining Games
Max Avg. Time/Move
# of Timeouts
Biggest Upset

Long Way Down is a book documenting a motorcycle journey undertaken by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, on which they rode south through 18 countries from John o' Groats in Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa via Europe and Africa in 2007.


The journey started on 12 May 2007 and finished on 4 August 2007.They were accompanied by the same key members of the team from Long Way Round, including cameraman and director of photography Claudio Von Planta and cameraman Jimmy Simak (who also oversaw music supervision and soundtrack production), producers Russ Malkin and David Alexanian. In addition they decided to travel constantly with a medic, Dai Jones, security officer Jim Foster and various "fixers"—local guides and interpreters—throughout the journey. They rode the BMW R1200GS Adventure, the successor to the R1150GS Adventure bikes they rode in Long Way Round.

The team travelled from their base in Olympia, London to John o' Groats at the northern tip of Scotland to begin their journey. The start was almost delayed after Boorman, frustrated by an official at London's Gatwick Airport, made an off-the-cuff comment regarding bombs, and was detained for questioning by local police. After being released without charge, Boorman took a later flight to Inverness and the journey was able to begin as scheduled. The team took four days to ride from John o' Groats back to London, via the McGregor family home in Crieff and the Silverstone racetrack, where they camped in the middle of the circuit. They took the Channel Tunnel to France, and rode south to Italy. The European leg of the journey ended in Sicily, where they caught a ferry to Tunisia.In Tunisia, McGregor and Boorman visited the set of Star Wars (McGregor was not recognised despite the fact there were pictures of him) and from there they rode into Libya.

However, American producer David Alexanian and cameraman Jimmy Simak were unable to obtain the necessary entry visas and were forced to fly from Tunisia to Egypt where they rejoined the team.    http://youtu.be/vPNsEzOHfXA

After visiting the pyramids they boarded a ferry and travelled to Sudan, continued into Ethiopia and then into Kenya, where they crossed the equator.

From Kenya they rode to Uganda and then Rwanda, where they had an audience with President Paul Kagame. They went from there to Tanzania, and then into Malawi, where they were joined by Ewan McGregor's wife Eve.


The final leg of the trip took them through Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and finally into South Africa. The journey ended at Cape Agulhas, the most southerly point on the continent, from where they were accompanied to Cape Town by a phalanx of bikers


Although they were often pleasantly surprised with the quality of road surfaces they encountered throughout Africa, there were sections that required travelling over rough, bumpy and sandy terrain, as well as a small river and mud wallow.

The shock absorbers bore the brunt of the punishing sections, with both McGregor and von Planta suffering broken springs. As the only spare had been fitted to McGregor's bike, von Planta had to ride in the support vehicles at one point, while his bike was sent on ahead for repairs. McGregor and von Planta also came off and damaged their bodywork, with von Planta involved in the more serious incident on a motorway in South Africa.

Boorman admitted he had been "putting on a show" for a roadside garage, and braked sharply as part of a manoeuvre. Von Planta, who admits he was riding too closely, fell in a last moment attempt to avoid a collision. He was shaken but uninjured. His motorcycle was substantially damaged, and the documentary footage of the remaining leg of the journey to Cape Agulhas appears to include only support vehicle and helmet cam footage, suggesting that Von Planta's motorcycle was not used beyond this point.  McGregor's wife Eve, who learned to ride only as part of the preparations for the trip, took several falls on the sandy terrain of Malawi and Zambia, apparently without injury.

Given the number of countries they passed through, the team anticipated delays and problems at the various borders they would need to cross, particularly in Africa.

Although the American crew members were barred from entering Libya, this was anticipated ahead of their arrival at the border. Upon arrival in Tunisia, the team had to bribe the local authorities with a few bottles of vodka to ease their passage into the country, which they assumed would be par for the course as they travelled through Africa. However, although short delays of up to a few hours were common, there were few significant problems at crossing points as they made their way further south