On Monday 24 January, a group of competitive rowers set off to attempt the first ever surfboat crossing of Bass Strait including Rob Pollock of Moruya.
January 31st saw them land in Tasmania. Photos below by Robert Pollock
The team members work in various fields – stonemasonry, orthopaedic surgery, landscape gardening, science, physiotherapy and business, to name a few – yet are united by their love of rowing, staying fit and healthy… and talking rubbish while out training together! They are accustomed to open-ocean and marathon rowing, with most having competed in multiple George Bass Marathons or training events of similar distances. Having previously braved inclement weather, and possibly their families’ wrath for dodging weekend chores, team members are familiar with the toll of sustained rowing on their bodies – the strains, the blisters – and were suitably prepared. Departing from Port Albert in Victoria’s South Gippsland, the Rowers set out to camp overnight at each of seven six legs (islands) across the approx. 350km stretch. Depending on weather conditions they planned to arrive at Little Musselroe Bay on the north-east tip of Tasmania sometime between 30 January and 6 February. The team will be donating their surfboat to Port Sorrel SLSC, a Tasmanian surf club, that does not currently have one.
Several of the group have experienced the Clown Doctors™ program firsthand and have generously decided to direct fundraising efforts to support expansion of the program. Clown Doctors have been delivering laughter and joy to kids having treatment for illness or injury in hospital for almost 25 years. Dig deep and support the team in their fundraising efforts for Clown Doctor ‘rounds’ – and brighten the lives of sick kids in hospital during the holidays. To donate please google ‘bass strait miles for smiles’ or CLICK HERE.
The individuals involved in the row are; Beau and Wes Dredge, Joe Isaacs, Andrew Lawson and Phil Vial from Wanda Braden Fleming from North Cronulla Travis Latter from Currumbin Brendan Constable and Rod Patmore from Narooma Rob Pollock from Broulee Surfers. They were accompanied by Jack Patison (Austinmer) on his ski and Kai Latter with his camera to document the journey.
Special thanks to Currumbin and Narooma SLSCs for donating surfboat equipment and to Wanda and Broulee Surfers SLSCs for loaning equipment for the journey.