Sharks, Storms, Surf, Broken Rudder – Paddle320 Reaches Out

Friday, 04 December 2009 16:40 | Written by  Doug Lucas
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Despite being set back by horrific weather, the men from the Paddle320 project are finally reaching their goal at Shellharbour - but, sadly, not their goal for fundraising for Bowel Cancer Research... 

Doug Lucas sent us this account of their trip so far.


November 30


Tuesday sit and watch the storm

Wednesday fitness training session with Manly Warringah Sea Eagles First Grade team. Des Hasler the coach has a few things in mind to kill us.

Wednesday afternoon drive back to Nobbys beach.

Thursday morning paddle as far as we possibly can south with massive down winder.. We will keep paddling till we drop or the wind turns south again..

Paddle going well. Did 78km first day Boomerang Beach to Anna Bay. (about 7 hours) some great down wind sections. Then Anna Bay to Nobby's on Sunday. 36 km taking us 5.5 hours straight into a horrible strong south westerly.


Due to dangerous wind and surf warnings we put 114km in 2 days and have returned to Sydney to wait out the storm and dangerous surf. We are a day ahead of schedule but will fall behind and put some big pressure on to get back on track. We will make up the distance on Thursday am with paddle from Nobby's Beach to Palm Beach around 95 km in a day...

This will mean that we more than likely won't stop for long on the Central Coast. Basically 20-30 minutes for a quick stretch. We think Terrigal will be that place. (Love Terrigal and it is nice and sheltered to come in there.

Pete saw a 2 metre shark along the way near Anna Bay which came about a metre away from Pete's ski. Great experience. We also meet Ruby the camel at Oakfield Ranch next to Birlibi SLSC. Photo attached with Pete and I talking to the Birlibi SLSC nippers on Sunday morning.


We have also been talking to locals about Bowel Cancer along the way and putting fliers on vehicles to raise funds and awareness. Donations can still be taken at

Thus far it has been an amazing experience. The local communities are great and so supportive. The coast line is unbelievable and so beautiful. We are disapointed about the dangerous surf but we can't put rescuers in potential danger so have taken 2 days off. This will mean some massive days ahead but we are determined to make the journey south and still arrive at Shellharbour by the weekend.

PS. My camel's name is Ruby from Oakfield Ranch.)

December 3rd

We got sick of waiting around for the shocking weather to improve so thought what the hell. We tried to make up time in 20 knot southerly and 4 metre swell. The goal was Long Reef (Fisherman's) to Nobby's Beach (Newcastle) After 8 hours in the skis in massive surf we managed 90km to Swansea Belmont. We were running out of light and both Pete and I were stuffed and did not have the energy to keep the balance going in insane surf! Don't worry we did not want to become statistics and took required safety equipment. Unlike the 2 other men who were rescued by helicopter only half an hour later off Manly.

The surf was certainly not for beginners.....

That meant after 90km we got up early and hit the water to paddle again north from Swansea to Nobbys. (ah we were only 23 km short....)

We have now screamed back to Sydney and are back on track.....

We will this afternoon paddle from Long Reef Fishermans to Cronulla. Thus far we have paddled 227 km. Our bodies are holding up well.

Some of the highlights in the massive swell were being joined by 5 or 6 dolphins, passing an oil tanker on the eastern side.... My GPS Garmin 405 says that we were between 8 and 10 km off shore.... (insane) and hey actually being able to stand up on the land after so long at sea....


But it is for a great cause...

4 December

Paddling 320km over a week has been great fun (312km done thus far) We have seen 2 sharks, been smashed by every wind possible and massive surf most of the time, snapped a rudder 6 km from the beach and much more but Pete and I would really appreciate some more support for BOWEL CANCER AUSTRALIA.


I have just gone through the donations received thus far and to be honest they are very disappointing. It would be great to be able to hand Bowel Cancer a few dollars for our efforts. Donations can still be made.

Charlie Frew one of the Directors of Bowel Cancer Australia will be at the finish and at this stage despite all the emails, media and coverage it is looking like a social paddle rather than a fund raiser.

Donations can be made at


Just Do It!