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Stars In The Dakar Race - Good or Bad ?

29
December
2005
  Posted at 11:18:31 AM
  File under  Celebrities Racing Dakar Race
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

Here's a question I've been pondering for a while now. We're a few days away from the start of the famous and gruelling race, so why not ask it.

Charley Boorman
As you may know, actor and motorcycle rider Charley Boorman is going to take part in this year's Dakar race {link}. Charley, son of legendary movie director John Boorman, has gained fame as Ewan McGregor's sidekick in their Long Way Round motorcycle trip around the world.

I have read their book, and though it's well written, but I had sincere reservations {link}.

Now, Charley Boorman is riding in the Dakar 2006. It's not an easy challenge, and he has prepared well for it. He'll be riding a BMW motorcycle, together with off-road instructor and long time Dakar rider, Simon Pavey.

But I've not been able to decide if this is a good thing or not. Let's look at the positive points first.

BMW Dome Motorcycle Team - Charley Boorman
ltr - Hall, Pavey, Boorman
- Having a star participate gives the race an extra dimension, not to speak of the extra media attention. You'll probably find TV stations transmitting parts of the Dakar only because Boorman is participating.

-It gives some extra "glamor" points to motorcycle riders in general, since a star rides one (though it might detract for others).

-They are filming Boorman's exploits, from training to the race.
This means you'll be able to see it on TV, or buy the DVD. You'll be able to see some good coverage inside the Dakar.

On the negative side:

-It removes media attention and therefore sponsors to the hard working souls, who have scraped up the cash to participate, and have been desperate to find sponsors. The budget for a privateer in the Dakar is around $75,000, and many fail to get sponsors. If you're a sponsor, either you sponsor the people who WILL get media attention, or you might not sponsor because you know you've got a lost cause.

It's a bit harsh, but it is a fact of life. Boorman is running with full equipment from BMW, a full support crew. Simon Pavey's normal riding partner, Nick Plumb, got dumped for Boorman. They have BMW support cars. But what's more, they have one extra motorcycle rider. Matt Hall not only needs to race in the Dakar, but he has to bring his TV camera with him, because he's a cameraman hired to film the event.

-This is a commercial enterprise, i.e., like the Long War Round trip, this will be sold as a TV series and DVD. Big bucks !

So, on one side you get more coverage of the Dakar, on the other side, if you think about the real heroes, the privateers, they loose the limelight! All in all, Charley Boorman looks like a real biker, and from all reports, is a nice guy.

So what do you think ??? Good or Bad ??? Spoiled brats or real bikers ?? More stars/celebs in the Dakar, or leave it to the common rider ?





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