This year Team Fat Paddler managed to hand over $8,000 to the Lifestart charity (due in large part to the amazing efforts of a certain Ned Stephenson) before we even arrived. Which was a good thing, since the day was dark, wet and ominous. We set-up in the rain, we launched in the rain, and for a fair while we paddled in the rain. When the weather cleared a little we then were hit with chaotic conditions at Middle Head where 1.5-2m swell was bouncing off the head. The mix of rebound, swell, wind waves and boat wake combined to create a very difficult passage for all paddlers, with two members (lets just call them Alan and Nat) coming off and out of their boats for a bit of a swim.
But easy conditions are boring conditions, and the lads all relished the stories of near misses (or actual dunkings) once we’d finished and had a hot sausage sandwich in hand. Despite the exhaustion, near-drowning, and some serious blisters, everyone was stoked to have had a good paddle with friends for such a great cause. And just to give everyone a taste, we put together a short video of the event for you.
We also initiated a new tradition for Team Fat Paddler at the end of the event – the Passing Out Parade, where teamsters were awarded a rank based on the number of times they’ve represented TFP. Badges of Rank were awarded to each member, and a register of officers was created on this site HERE to record it. All just a bit of fun really, but then that’s the TFP way!
Lastly, we wanted to thank a few people: the organisers – Lifestart, BLAST Paddlers and AROC – for putting on such a great event, and especially to all the people that supported the work of Lifestart with their kind and generous donations. Cheers – FP