While most paddlers are taking a well-earned break now the season is finally over, not Michael Booth. The Aussie powerhouse has just completed a five-day, 226km (140 mile) paddle along the coast of Western Australia with a few mates. And all in the name of charity.
The Starboard dream team rider and current EuroTour and Australian marathon champion completed the journey from Dunsborough to Fremantle in about 28 hours. He was paddling alongside mates Luke Hallam, Cam McKay and Alex Fossilo, with the group raising money for the Ocean Heroes charity.
Known as Paddle 4 Ocean Heroes, the odyssey saw the quartet journey across open ocean and face everything from smooth downwind straights to horrible headwind stretches. That included a stint along the famous Dawesville Cut — home to last week’s big King of the Cut race — where the boys scored some firing bumps.
Apart from being an awesome adventure, Paddle 4 Ocean Heroes aims to raise $20k to support its mission of sharing the joys of surfing with autistic children. They’ve already passed $15,000 and you can help get them over the line by donating today.
Things didn’t start out easy with the opening stretch from Dunsborough to Peppermint Grove throwing up tough headwinds that created a seven-hour day on the water. That was the worst of it though, as the winds steadily improved throughout the week culminating in a few epic downwind runs.
Boothy told me the end of the third day produced the best downwind conditions he’s ever experienced; he was paddling the new 14×22″ Starboard Ace the whole way.
The project was kickstarted by Boothy’s mate Luke Hallam who’s a director of the Ocean Heroes charity. As the tagline on the Ocean Heroes website says: “We aim to enhance the lives of those living with autism through surfing.”
The $20k they’re raising this week aims to buy more boards and other gear to help the group expand their mission throughout W.A. and across Australia.
Awesome work lads.
…and here are the daily Insta recaps from the man himself:
Day 1 down of the @paddle4oceanheroes. Some nasty 14-18knot headwinds treated us in the morning which created a very slow 45km paddle over 6.5hrs starting from Dunsborough boat ramp. It cleared up later on the day to finish at Peppermint Grove in calm winds and almost some sunshine. Looking forward to the next four days with some wind at our backs. To donate to @oceanheroes check the link in my bio #autism 📸 @miss_stephanieclaire
Day 3: 58km, another 7hrs on water, up to 30knots creating awesome downwind conditions, paddled Myalup to Dawsville cut, another $1000 raised again today, 8.5k left to reach our target of 20k. @oceanheroes has taken over 800 kids with autism surfing for free. There’s 150 at this weekends event at Trigg and the event was booked out in 30 minutes. All money raised goes towards running more events in Perth and around WA. #autism #oceanheroes Donate: https://www.givenow.com.au/paddle4oceanheroes
What an unreal experience this has become, big thanks to our support team and especially the one to my left for helping us out along this journey. We hit 200km today in this journey up from Dunsborough. Final day tomorrow, if you want to greet us at the finish we will be arriving between 6-630 at Bathers Beach in Fremantle. Hope to see you there! To donate see the link in my bio @oceanheroes @paddle4oceanheroes #autism @miss_stephanieclaire
WE MADE IT! 226km, 5 days, 28hrs on water and $15,500 raised for Ocean Heroes Australia. Epic downwind, horrible headwinds and nasty side winds made for an up and down journey. We saw plenty of wildlife and some amazing untouched coast line. Big thanks to Luke, Foz, Cam, Kristi, Amy and Steph for such a great week. Thanks everyone who donated and cheers to all the Perth SUP crew who turned up and welcomed us for the final 9km. You can still donate to help us reach the goal of 20k: https://www.givenow.com.au/paddle4oceanheroes @ Perth, Western Australia #surfingthespectrum #oceanheroes #paddle4oceanheroes #autism