Ocean Heroes: Dunsborough-Freo charity paddle for autism due to finish today

Guildford’s Alex Fossilo is kneeling on his board and paddling with his hands from Dunsborough to Fremantle for charity.
Guildford’s Alex Fossilo is kneeling on his board and paddling with his hands from Dunsborough to Fremantle for charity.

WHILE his three mates stand up and paddle, Guildford’s Alex Fossilo (28) has been kneeling on his board and paddling with his hands 240km from Dunsborough to Fremantle for charity during four days before an expected finish in Fremantle today.

“Alex is sometimes a little bit slower, so we regroup every 10km or so, have chat and refresh offshore,” Hilton stand-up paddler Cameron McKay (33) said.

Mr McKay (33), Michael Booth (26) from Carine, and Luke Hallam (27) from Wembley are paddling, and Alex Fossilo from Guildford, is kneeling and paddling with his hands.

All are using ocean-going, 5.5m-long boards with safety gear and supported by an onshore crew in their attempt to raise $20,000 for WA charity Ocean Heroes to take children with autism surfing.

Since Monday, the men have battled headwinds, strong seabreezes and drizzle, while they have also been accompanied by dolphins and seen a few sharks.

They had raised about $13,000 by last night.

Mr McKay said yesterday’s seven-hour paddle from Dawesville to Safety Bay, Rockingham included their fastest 30km of the trip, but side winds made the crossing of Safety Bay challenging.

“On the first day everyone was chatting and getting to know each other, but as it gets windy it gets harder to talk and you are alone,” Mr McKay said

“I’ve solved many of the world’s problem thinking out there in the past four days.”

Today, the team plans to leave Safety Bay about midday.

They have invited friends and other paddlers to join them at Woodman Point, Coogee, and for the flotilla to depart before 5pm for the last leg into Bathers Beach, Fremantle, arriving about 6pm.

Donate at www.givenow.com.au/paddle4oceanheroes.