Perth stand-up paddle boarders begin their marathon paddle for charity


SUP boarders Cameron McKay, Luke Hallam, Michael Booth and Alex Fossiloi leave Busselton mid-way yesterday.
SUP boarders Cameron McKay, Luke Hallam, Michael Booth and Alex Fossiloi leave Busselton mid-way yesterday.

HEADWINDS tested four Perth stand-up paddle boarders (SUP) during the first day of their marathon, five-day 240km paddle for charity from Dunsborough to Fremantle yesterday.

“We hugged the coast to get as much protection as we could during the 45km, after starting about 7.45am,” Hilton paddler Cameron McKay (33) said.

“It is probably going to be the worst day of the trip given the week’s forecast.”

The paddlers hope to raise $20,000 so WA charity Ocean Heroes can buy surfboards, a van, wetsuits, lifejackets and a beach gazebo to take children with autism surfing.

Their voyage is thought to be the longest for SUP paddlers attempted in WA.

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.

Their ocean-going, 5.5m-long boards are kitted out with offshore safety gear and the paddlers have an onshore support crew.

Yesterday’s north-east winds meant the paddlers where often within 100m of shore.

Mr McKay said they faced drizzle and choppy conditions across Geographe Bay to Busselton for a lunchtime break, before finishing at Peppermint Grove Beach last night.

He said the paddlers hoped to pick up the pace and catch some forecast south-west winds that will push them along to Myalup today.

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