Considered a first in the world of rowing, three Eurobodalla locals have successfully crossed the Bass Strait in a surf boat.
Brendan Constable and Rod Patmore of Narooma and Rob Pollock from Broulee hit the water at Port Albert, in Victoria eight days ago with seven other rowers and a support crew for the 330km journey to raise money for charity.
With blisters on their hands to show their hard work, the team arrived at Little Musselroe Bay, in Tasmania yesterday and reportedly had ‘a bit of a singalong to celebrate’.
The attempt which is also known as the Bass Strait Miles for Smiles campaign served as a fundraising venture to support the Humour Foundation which aims to provide Clown Doctors to hospitals across Australia to entertain sick children.
The team have raised just shy of $50,000 (at the time of writing) and while falling short of their $100,000 target, everyone of them should be extremity proud.
Brendan Constable from the Narooma Surf Life Saving Club who took part as a co-sweep on the boat said it was an honour to help out with such a great cause and to challenge himself at the same time.
“Trying to raise money for the Clown Doctors in all the hospitals around Australia that are providing humour and making children and families laugh in really stressful situations,” Mr Constable said.
“It’s not too late to donate and if people can get behind it, that would be awesome,” he said.
The crew left Port Albert on Monday January 24 and expected the journey to take anywhere between 10 and 14 days but got it done in just eight.
The group consisted of experienced rowers aged between 40 and 60 from Narooma, Moruya, Sydney and the Gold Coast.
“It was really challenging being out in the open ocean with a bit of swell and current and breeze,” he said.
Mr Constable explained that the team had some experience heading into the challenging fundraiser but team members still were not 100 per cent sure what to expect.
“A number of us have rowed in the George Bass Marathon and thoroughly enjoyed it and have a love of rowing surf boats,” Constable said.
“The challenge of being able to do it and fundraising for a great cause like the Clown Doctors is really what drove us.”
As well as raising money for the Humour Foundation, the crew will also leave their Surf Boat in Tasmania to donate to a club in Port Sorell.
“They’ve got a few crews but not a boat so we’re donating our surf boat to their surf lifesaving club,” Constable said.
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Image Credit: Marcia Telford, Karen Andrews Latter