STAND UP PADDLE BOARDING FOR DEAF CHILDREN AUSTRALIA - SUP4DCA
113 days. 3,750km, $81,658 raised. 1 World First. Life Changing.
Tom ran through a north Australian heatwave with temperatures reaching almost 50C degrees. He covered an average of 30km a day for almost a month as he searched for water to paddle on.
On the 27th of Jan 2017 Tom set out for an epic journey the length of Australia's longest river system on a Stand Up Paddle (SUP). Despite standing on a SUP board for the very first time just 3 weeks before the trip began, Tom took on the challenge just to see if he was capable.
4 days of trudging through the muddy river bed of a non-existent Condamine River wasn't an ideal start to the trip and Tom quickly realised his trip, as he had initially dreamed it, was not possible. Instead of giving up or blaming the drought that was causing the dry river, Tom went into town, bought a pair of running shoes and then ran the next 900km.
After finally finding some water on day 40 of the trip, Tom then picked up his paddle and traveled the next 2,600km by SUP, paddling through the Australian Outback. Tom experienced the charm of the Australian bush as he met the wildlife and people that lined the banks and watched him pass.
SUP4DCA was not just an adventure but also a charity event, raising funds and awareness for Deaf Children Australia. The funds raised went towards improving access to services for kids in rural and remote Australia living with a hearing loss.
- Find out why Tom decided to combine adventure and fundraising here
- Want to hear the full SUP4DCA story? Book Tom as a speaker at your next function by getting in contact here
Despite finding water, the trip continued to throw challenges at Tom. Broken paddles, board punctures and fatigue were all things he had to overcome, along with spending 10hrs a day alone on his SUP while covering close to 50km a day.
On day 91, after paddling 80 kilometers in 13 hours (his personal best day), Tom completed the length of the Darling river and became the first person in history to ever have SUP'd the Darling. Still not finished though, he joined the mighty Murray river for the final 800km of the trip, before reaching the ocean almost 4 months after he began.