Stand up paddle boarders reach Preston Beach on day two of Dunsborough to Fremantle voyage

Cameron McKay comes ashore at Peppermint Grove Beach yesterday.
Cameron McKay comes ashore at Peppermint Grove Beach yesterday.

THE wind direction changed and strengthened to about 20 knots to push stand-up paddle (SUP) boarders on the second day of their 240km voyage from Dunsborough to Fremantle yesterday.

“Day one was tough, but day two was fun,” Hilton paddler Cameron McKay (33) said.

Mr McKay had dolphins under his ocean-going, 5.5m-long board when the group launched from Peppermint Grove Beach in 10 knot south-westerlies that built to about 20 knots by the time they reached Preston Beach, averaging 8 km/h over the 54km journey in the late afternoon.

His group of four paddlers hopes to raise $20,000 for WA charity Ocean Heroes to 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 boards are kitted out with offshore safety gear and there is an onshore support crew.

Mr McKay said yesterday’s wind-blown swell caused each of the team to fall off several times, and the last 30 minutes into Preston Beach were “pretty tough”.

He said today’s paddle of more than 50km to Dawesville would be long, and the team were surprised they would already be within the metropolitan area by dusk.

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