BONNIE HANCOCK

PADDLE OF AUS

If someone told you they were going to attempt to paddle around Australia, 16,000km of coastline to be exact, your first question may very well be: why?

 

And I’d say that reaction is very valid and probably how I would have reacted a few years ago. But what if we reframed it and asked a different question: why not?

 

A few years ago, after reading Freya Hoffmeister’s book on her epic journey to paddle anti-clockwise around Australia on a sea kayak, I felt inspired to undertake my own adventure-but faster, on a light boat and covering a much larger amount of kilometres each day.

 

In December 2021, I will set out from the shores of Kurrawa to attempt to become just the 5th person in history and only the second female to paddle around Australia on a surf ski, but if successful I will be both the youngest and am aiming to be the fastest. We have dubbed this event The Paddle of Aus.

 

The Paddle of Aus will see me attempt to complete the adventure in 6 months, covering 50-100km a day. Along the way, I will be paddling past uninhabited coastline and see the most remote parts of Australia, encountering civilisations who live off the grid.

 

My aim is to make a documentary of my journey, and allow people to access landscapes, cultures and experiences which may only have been experienced by a very small handful of people.

 

As well as the opportunity to test myself and my own limits, I will also be using The Paddle of Aus as a fundraiser for GOTCHA4LIFE, an Australian mental fitness charity taking action  to engage, educate and empower to end suicide.

 

I plan to get both local and national media involved and gather a following of people who will be able to track my journey through social media channels.

 

I also plan to hold regular fundraising events throughout the journey, as well as paddle clinics for locals. I have been in touch with numerous surf clubs across Australia who will be providing help with accommodation and some company along the way, but we are still in need of some support.

OUTLINE

 

What: 

The Paddle of Aus is a 16,000km surf ski paddle around the coast of Australia. With an aim to paddle clockwise around the entirety of Australia excluding Tasmania. With a background of professional Ironwoman and Ocean Ski racing, I will be aiming to paddle approximately 80-100km per day, 8-9 hours of paddling per day. 

When:

We would like to begin the journey in December 2021 from Kurrawa Gold Coast heading south. 

How: 

I will be on an 8kg carbon fibre surf ski and paddling with a carbon fibre Bennett paddle. My surf ski will be supplied by Nordic Kayaks, my current sponsor.

We will have a Catamaran  support boat to accompany me on the journey, both for safety and to carry our supplies-food, fluid, fuel, first aid etc.

My husband Matt Palmer is a strength and conditioning coach and will accompany me on the journey to assist with nutrition, hydration, recovery and injury prevention, as well as social media and coordinating media and clinic commitments.

Cost:

We have estimated a budget of approximately $250,000 for the trip. 

Thanks to the support of