Mac MacKenney speaker at SES@GauchoCity in July
The SES is very much looking forward to hearing SES Member Mac MacKenney talk about his incredible expeditions and logistical challenges in all corners of the world, and his recent venture taking veterans suffering from PTSD on those journeys at the SES@GauchoCity on Tuesday 31 July 2018. These events are kindly hosted by Gaucho City and supported by Cadogan Tate, for which the SES is extremely grateful.
Mac Mackenney FRGS is Managing Director of Max Adventure, a company specialising in planning and leading expeditions in the most extreme environments. From the freezing wastes of the high Arctic and thin air of the Himalayas, to the world’s most stifling jungles and inhospitable deserts, he's undertaken high-profile expeditions in the most challenging locations on the planet.
Starting out life as an Army Helicopter Technician and then RAF Pilot, on leaving the military, Mac worked throughout Africa for a year before returning home and being selected for an arduous expedition led by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, which involved testing tracked amphibious Land Rovers on the treacherous sea ice of the Bering Strait. From this, he was asked by Ran to act as his right-hand man on his last North Pole trip.
Away from the Polar regions, Mac led teams to establish several long-distance driving records, including the gruelling London to Cape Town record, completing the 10,000 miles through 21 countries in just 11 1/2 days! Returning to Alaska some 10 years after his project with Ran, he was part of the team that made the first amphibious crossing of the Strait from Russia to Alaska. His logistical skills didn't go unnoticed and he was headhunted to plan the largest medical research expedition ever undertaken at high altitude. 150,000 items of equipment in over 1,000 containers had to be delivered by his team to seven laboratories from Kathmandu to the summit of Mt Everest, which involved 300 porters, 300 yaks and 1 Russian Mi8 helicopter! The 60 intensive care doctors, of which eight summited, then spent the next three months testing over 200 volunteers that trekked to Everest Base Camp. At EBC, three field research hospitals, two dining tents, one kitchen and a fully equipped workshop were fed mains power from 12 Honda generators and 60 car batteries via 1.6km of electrical cable. Not one item failed to reach it's destination and not a single item of equipment failed, despite temperatures down to -30C and the thin mountain air.
Back behind the wheel, Mac was asked to plan and lead an extreme driving series for Discovery Channel in which Hollywood actors Tom Hardy, Henry Cavill and Adrien Brody tackled the coldest, hottest and toughest roads on the planet. This then led to a call from Vauxhall to come up with an idea to promote their new model Vivaro van. From Europe's most westerly road in south-west Ireland to Asia's most easterly in far-eastern Siberia, the Max Adventure team drove 12,000 miles through 20 countries in 60 days, negotiating the remote tracks of Mongolia and the infamous Road of Bones. Joining the team were three military veterans suffering from PTSD due to recent conflicts.
So profound was the positive effect on the veterans' mental health, that Mac founded Driven to Extremes to help more veterans by taking them on challenging vehicle adventures and expeditions. Two trips were undertaken in 2017 and in March of this year, he'll lead a team through Morocco where they'll try and retrace the original Dakar rally route of the 1990s in Citroen Berlingos (basically Postman Pat vans!) worth no more than £500.
If he doesn't make it back from Morocco, he sends his apologies and hopes that the SES finds a suitable speaker to stand in for him!
TIME & DATE
ADMISSION IS FREE TO SES MEMBERS
STAY FOR SUPPER
To find out more about Mac, please visit him on Facebook.
The SES is extremely grateful to TexEnergy who have kindly donated a gift to the SES@GauchoCity speakers.
July 31st, 2018 6:45 PM through 8:15 PM
1 Bell Inn Yard
London, LON EC3V 0BL