How South Shields firm Showers Pass is helping with a paddleboarding world record attempt
A water sports-obsessed fundraiser who has taken on the mammoth task of paddleboarding around mainland Britain got a warm welcome in the North East.
Brendon Prince arrived in the region more than three months into The Long Paddle 2021 endurance challenge, during which he hopes to set a new world record.
The 48-year-old was met by a host of supporters, including representatives from South Shields company Showers Pass UK, which has kitted him out for his adventure.
Brendon, who grew up in South Wales and now lives in Torquay in Devon, would be the first person to ever complete the challenge and – subject to verification – will also hold the world record for longest ever journey by SUP.
It comes as paddleboarding is enjoying a huge rise in popularity on the North East coast.
Brendon said his main objective in The Long Paddle is to raise awareness of the issue of water safety, as well as promoting the safe use of ‘blue space’ for men’s health, highlighting the benefits of physical activity and friendship on the water, and encouraging people to be mindful of their impact the oceans.
He came ashore at Seaham to take a well-earned break and to refuel after the latest leg of the 1,800-mile journey.
Fraser Ranson and Emma Nichol from South Shields-based company Showers Pass UK were on hand to welcome him.
Showers Pass makes high performance apparel for a wide range of outdoor pursuits on land and water, and has provided Brendon with two technical jackets to keep him comfortable and dry throughout the duration of his challenge.
Fraser Ranson, managing director of Showers Pass UK, said: “Showers Pass UK was delighted to supply kit to Brendon for his epic challenge.
"As well as the physical and mental challenge of completing his circumnavigation on stand-up paddleboard, he is supporting some very important causes that reflect what we stand for as a socially conscious business based in a coastal town.
"It was great to welcome Brendon and cheer him on his way as he set off on the next leg of his journey.”
Brendon adds: “I was thrilled to meet Fraser and Emma from Showers Pass in the North East. The team’s kind donation of two jackets has helped me cope with the unpredictable conditions I’ve faced throughout The Long Paddle.”
Through Brendon’s fundraising efforts, the Long Paddle 2021 is aiming to raise thousands of pounds to help seven different charities.
Since 2019, former outdoor and physical education teacher, has devoted his time to visiting hundreds of schools and communities, teaching more than 100,000 children about the importance of water safety, spurred on by his time as a lifeguard where he had experienced the dangers of the open water first hand.
He is the chairman of the Surf Life Saving Club and founder of the charity Above Water.
Above Water, Surf Life Saving GB and RNLI all promote water safety while The Wave Project supports children’s mental and physical wellbeing.
Men’s health and wellbeing charities Christian Surfers UK and Andy’s Man Club will also benefit, as will Surfers Against Sewage.
For further information about The Long Paddle and to donate visit: www.thelongpaddle.co.uk.