A Detours & Diversions piece on a UK man raising money for charities by longboarding across vast stretches of the Australian Outback.

Long, long, LONGboard

If you’re looking for something quirky to lend your support to this March – and also happen to have easy access to about 25 litres of factor 35 sunblock – we have just the project: Dave Cornthwaite, a 26-year-old graphic designer from the UK, intends to take a crack at a world record by longboarding across huge stretches of the Australian Outback – twice.

In a fundraising project he has dubbed “BoardFree”, Cornthwaite aims to board as part of a team of four between Sydney and Brisbane in March in order to promote his later, more ambitious solo project of traversing an estimated 8000km from Perth to Brisbane via the southern coastline, crossing five states in all. He’s hoping not only to raise money for three children’s charities, but also to better the current world longboarding distance record by some 3000km.

“I started to longboard in late March 2005,” says Cornthwaite, “and within a few weeks I decided to couple my newest passion, longboarding, with my oldest passion – travelling. The idea of seeing a country at 16km/h is fascinating.”

BoardFree aims to raise at least $150,000 for The Lowe Syndrome Trust, Link Community Development and Sailability Australia. For more info, check out www.boardfree.co.uk or, to make a donation, visit: www.justgiving.com/boardfree.

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