Team Fat Paddler - mixing adventure, laughter and friendship

Team Fat Paddler is a growing organisation of paddlers under one banner who take on challenges – charity challenges, personal challenges, and even some silly challenges. Officers of Team Fat Paddler earn their commission through continued participation in such events – the more events they are a part of, the higher their rank.

Team Fat Paddler Active Officer List – Men & Women of Honour, Humour & Humility

Sean Smith aka The Fat PaddlerAdmiral of the Fleet, Sean Smith ADML (Sydney, Australia)
HC09, BB10, KK10, PP10, HC10, WD11, KK11, BB11, PFTP11, HC11, SS12, BB12, KK12, MOC12, HC12, BB13, KK13, RBC13, MC13, HC13, BB14, OWH14, KK14
Sean is the original Fat Paddler and loves surfski surfing, paddling near cliffs and time with his girls. He spends a fair bit of time on, in and on occasion, under the water!


Alan Jones aka BigYahuVice Admiral Alan Jones VADM (Sydney, Australia)
KK10, WD11, KK11, BB11, PFTP11, HC11, SS12, WD12, BB12, KK12, HC12, RBB12, KK13, RBC13, OWH14, KK14
The BigYahu is a big man with a big fast boat. He loves nothing more than paddling alongside his team members – unless it’s a race that is. In which case he’ll be 30mins ahead of everyone else.


Nat BradfordRear Admiral Nat Bradford RADM (Sydney, Australia)
KK11, BB11, PFTP11, PP11, HC11, SS12, BB12, KK12, MOC12, HC12, KK13, B2B13, RPM13, MOC13, KK13
Has followed the Fat Paddler into danger many times before – first on the rugby field, and now on the water. Is the Propaganda Officer for the team and loves his ocean ski.


Paul Grummett aka GrummRear Admiral Paul Grummett RADM (Sydney, Australia)
HC09, KK10, PP10, HC10, KK11, BB11, PFTP11, HC11, BB12, KK12, HC12, MC13, HC13
Grumm is one of a handful of Brit paddlers in the team and loves wine, rudders and boats that can turn. As a high ranking officer, he is expected to lead by example. Especially at the pub.


Meg Thornton - Aussie female paddler and proud of itRear Admiral Meg Thornton RADM (Sydney, Australia)
SS12, BB12, HC12, HC12, RBB12, MM12, SS13, BB13, RPM13, STL13, MC13, BB14, OWH14
As the first Aussie female active paddling member of TFP, Meg has been superb at fitting into the team. She races, she falls out, she drops her kayak and breaks it… and all whilst having a good laugh!


Angelo Vassiliades aka GeloCommodore Angelo Vassiliades CDRE (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
HC10, WD10, BB11, PFTP11, SS12, BB12, KK12, HC12, RBC13, HC13
Gelo is the poster boy for the team. Loves all things Greek but has a habit of destroying himself during events. Rumour has it he now has a bionic shoulder after the Warrior Dash “incident”.


Ben EaglestonCommodore Ben Eagleston CDRE (Sydney, Australia)
KK12, SS12, HC12, RBB12, SS13, BB13, KK13, RBC13, HC13, WDN13, BB14, KK14
Ben is a truly big man paddling his way to success. A long term Groupie of TFP, Ben’s persistence with his campaign to join Team Fat Paddler culminated in a formal invitation being issued at the 2012 Kayak for Kids. We expect big things from Ben… literally!


Dee MacCommodore Dee McWhirter CDRE (Sydney, Australia)
HC12, RBB1, SS13, BB13, KK13, STL13, MC13, HC13, BB14, OWH14
When not smashing herself in a Crossfit box somewhere, she can often be found paddling her surfski and complaining about how sore she is from the gym the day before. Probably the toughest member of TFP!


Brett Burns aka BurnsieCommodore Brett Burns CDRE (Sydney, Australia)
AHC09, AHC10, BB11, HC11, SS12, BB12, KK12, HC12, HC13, KK14
Burnsie is an ex-Navy chef and the official chef of Team Fat Paddler. Has produced outstanding meals during events including lamb sausages and Canadian pancakes with bacon and maple syrup.


Tanya ManwaringCommander Tanya Manwaring CMDR (Sydney, Australia)
RBB12, SS13, KK13, STL13, HC13, BB14, OWH14
Tanya joined TFP in the aftermath of HCC12, claiming she only hung out with us to get a few hours relief from her kids. Since joining Tanya has been blooded (literally) on Gelo Cliffs, sealing her membership in the TFP Hall of Fame.


Grant MascordCommander Grant Mascord CMDR (Sydney, Australia)
HC12, SS13, KK13, MC13, HC13, BB14, KK14
Grant does something with buses we think, but when he’s not delivering big Volvos around the country he’s likely to be paddling fast in some filthy stretch of water like the Cooks River. If you shake his hand, we suggest antibiotics afterwards.


Mike StelzerCommander Mike Stelzer CMDR (Sydney, Australia)
PFTP11, HC11, KK12, HC12, OWH14, KK14
Mike, otherwise known as Inspector Gadget, is the logistics specialist in the team. No matter what you need, for any task, at any time of day, just ask Mike. He’ll reach into a pocket and produce the perfect gadget for the task!


Rob ManningCaptain Rob Manning CAPT (Sydney, Australia)
HC12, SS13, MM12, BB13, MC13, HC13, BB14, OWH14, KK14
Rob seems like a friendly laid-back guy but he’s actually a Terminator in our midst. Don’t train with him, it’ll really, really hurt. And I’d hate to think what he’d do to you if your name was Sarah Connors.


Brian PartridgeCommander Brian Partridge CMDR (Adelaide, Australia)
FIC12, B2B12, RPM12, HCC12, B2B13, RPM13
He loves skis, beers, and bbq. He works in the mines of WA. And he lives in the City of Serial Killers. If a love of beer and sausages didn’t sell him in, fear of being stuffed into barrels brought out the welcome mat.


Andrew MathersLieutenant Commander Andrew Mathers LCDR (Sydney, Australia)
HC12, SS13, BB13, RBC13, RPM13
Unlike most of us, Andrew is a highly accomplished paddler. If you’re lucky, he’ll casually drop into conversation the time he paddled across Bass Straight from Tasmania to Victoria. We’d hate him, but he’s good value and not shy of smashing an egg and bacon roll.


The Great Mogo - kayak fisherman one day, seasoned race pro the next!Lieutenant Commander Dave Mogan LCDR (Sydney, Australia)
KK12, SS12, SS12, KK13
When the Mogo isn’t jet-setting around the world setting up television infrastructure at international motor sports events, he’s drifting around Sydney Harbour on a kayak. When he’s not falling off that is.


Mick Rees
Lieutenant Commander Mick Rees LCDR (Sydney, Australia)
HC12, SS13, STL13, MC13, HC13
Mick has that motorcycle-riding enforcer look about him, unless he’s paddling, when he looks more like a motorcycle and kayak-riding enforcer. He smiles a lot at you… but then again so do lawyers and sharks!


Ben DibleyLieutenant Ben Dibley LEUT (Sydney, Australia)
SS13, BB13, KK13
Ben is not only one of the fastest paddlers on the TFP roster, he’s also an expert at repairing damaged skis. A perfect fit, plus rumour has it he doesn’t mind being paid in egg & bacon rolls….


James VowlesLieutenant James Vowles LEUT (Murray Bridge, Australia)
HC12, B2B13, RPM13
The tall, vet from country SA has one of the weirdest paddling styles we’ve seen – long slow strokes with a catch starting almost at the nose of his ski, which looks like he’s moving at snails pace. It’s deceptive, because he tends to break the sound barrier!


Tom BluntSub-Lieutenant Tom Blunt SBLT (Sydney, Australia)
BB14, KK14
Tom isn’t exactly fat. We’ve had to get custom tshirts made for him since we’ve never placed an order for a “Medium” size before. That said he makes up for his lack of girth with a bunch of attitude, most of which is directed at the other member of TFP that he is related to. Trust us when we say it’s a fun dynamic!


MikeL-100Sub-Lieutenant Michael Lieberman SBLT (Sydney, Australia)
BB14, OWH14
Mike is a Fat Paddler success story. Once weighing slightly more than a full cement truck, through paddle training and more he’s now lost buckets of weight and pretty much smashes all of us in competitive surfski races. Look out for his sleek carbon surfski … it’s a menace on the water!


Darren KableSub-Lieutenant Darren Kable SBLT (Sydney, Australia)
HC12, RBC13
Darren came to our attention during the Summer Series of 2011/2012 – he’s fast on the flat but thankfully falls out a lot when it gets a bit rough. He’s been known to smash anything with egg or bacon in it, which made us immediately like him.


Pete CorbetLieutenant Pete Corbet LEUT (Geelong, Australia)
HC11, HC12, HC13
Pete is a mysterious agent doing shady things at discreet hidden compounds across the country-side. Some say he is developing a prototype military-spec ski for the government, whilst others say he is “interrogating” puppy-farm owners in the fight against animal cruelty.


Josh BucholtzMidshipman Josh Bucholtz MIDN (Sydney, Australia)
Josh traveled with Team Fat Paddler to Mauritius where he met female South African paddlers and decided he needed to be a part of the sport! He also happens to be a qualified diver which is pretty handy considering how badly he paddles.


Big Bad Trav - only about a fifth of a Fat PaddlerSub-Lieutenant Travis Frenay SBLT (Robertson, Australia)
HC11, HC13
Trav is the canoeists canoeist. With over twenty years paddling, portaging and exploring the outdoors, Trav is the perfect Scout and handy to have onboard for any outdoors mission. He also owns Paddle & Portage Canoes, importers of awesome Wenonah canoes.


The RiddlerMidshipman Martyn Riddle MIDN (Sydney, Australia)
The Riddler’s application for TFP was sealed with a video of the worst seal entry we’ve ever seen. Not only did he do it once, but twice, proving his credentials as enthusiastic but a little mad, a perfect combination!


Robby CookMidshipman Robby Cook MIDN (Sydney, Australia)
A paddler who plays with airplanes, Robby is a fast surfski paddler with far more enthusiasm than real skill. This makes him a perfect addition to Team Fat Paddler, although we secretly think he’s probably a tad better than he lets on.


Mark MoranMidshipman Mark Moran MIDN (Sydney, Australia)
Mark is a dirty Englishman who supports sporting teams of disrepute, but he doesn’t mind a paddle or two. He and FP have gone toe to toe in a number of sports and FP is particularly looking forward to watching him in pain during paddling events to come!


Lewis WylieMidshipman Lewis Wylie MIDN (Sydney, Australia)
Lewis loves moving water, pushing himself in multiple white water disciplines including C1, K1, downriver racing, play -boating and slalom. He’s pretty good at all of the above. He also loves chasing women, but he’s not so good at that! He’s hoping to get some romance tips from the older, more successful *cough cough* TFP crew…


Past Team Fat Paddler Officers

Lieutenant Commander Nathan Lane LCDRPFTP11, HC11, WW12, KK12
Lieutenant Commander Ned Stephenson LCDRHC09, KK10, KK11, HC11
Sub-Lieutenant Sacha Ward SBLTAKK10, AHC10
Sub-Lieutenant Simon Lewer SBLTKK11, HC11
Sub-Lieutenant Kassie James SBLTMOC13, STL13
Midshipman Steve Johnston MIDNCOD11
Midshipwoman Samantha Tombolan MIDNCOD11
Midshipman Ben Loiterton MIDNPP11
Midshipman Darryl King MIDNHC09
Midshipman Tim Donnelly MIDNHC12

Team Fat Paddler.... we may not be the fastest, but we'll most likely be the loudest


Participating Events

OWH – Open Water & Harbour Series (various events, NSW, Australia)
WDN – WomDomNom (Macquarie River, Australia)
MC – Myall Classic (Tea Gardens, Australia)
STL – Stroke the Lion (Sydney, Australia)
RPM – RPM (Murray River, South Australia)
B2B – Back 2 Back (Swanport, South Australia)
RBC – Rose Bay Challenge (Sydney, Australia)
KK – Lifestart Kayak for Kids (Sydney, Australia)
MM – Murray Marathon (South Australia)
SS – Summer Series (Sydney, Australia)
RBB – Reclink Bridge to Bridge (Sydney, Australia)
MOC – Mauritius Ocean Classic (Tamassa, Mauritius)
WD – Warrior Dash (Sydney, Australia)
FIC – Four Island Classic (Adelaide, Australia)
PP – Paddle for Pete (Sydney, Australia)
COD – Conquer the Dog (Ontario, Canada)
PFTP – Paddle for the Planet (Global)
BB – Bridge to Beach (Sydney, Australia)
HC – Hawkesbury Canoe Classic (Sydney, Australia)

Commission Structure (Rank by events participated in)

0 – Seaman/Seawoman (SMN)
1 – Midshipman (MIDN)
2 – Sub Lieutenant (SBLT)
3 – Lieutenant (LEUT)
4/5 – Lieutenant Commander (LCDR)
6/7 – Commander (CMDR)
8/9 – Captain (CAPT)
10/11/12 – Commodore (CDRE)
13/14/15 – Rear Admiral (RADM)
16/17/18 – Vice Admiral (VADM)
19+ – Admiral (ADML) 20 – Admiral of the Fleet (can only be one current serving)

The Fat Paddler by Sean Smith

The Fat Paddler ebook – available now on iTunes, Amazon & Kobo.

13 thoughts on “Officers

  1. Nice looking crew… But you need to send Gelo out to recruit some women for the team… Using his “Blue Steel” of course!!!

  2. I agree, it’s weird that no women have stepped forward to join the team. Then again, women don’t usually like to associate with the word “fat”! Still, having some women officers would be a good way to balance the team…. any takers out there??

  3. Chris Johnston

    Great job and you know I’d take a fat step forward to join your team if I lived there, maybe we’ll have to initiate some FP international events! There is a satellite Team Fat Paddler crew here in Thunder Bay just waiting to participate ( when the snow goes and rivers and lakes open)

  4. Chris, that would be great! Find an event or charity to support, put your TFP chapter together and contact me for official endorsement. Yay! 🙂

    Any other internationals keen to join??

  5. Finally, I’m an officer (I was already a gentleman). Now, carry me in your arms across the factory floor…

  6. Keep dreaming Sunshine!

  7. Moulton Avery

    Yummy saucerages? Canadian pansnakes with bacon and maple syrup? Coaching by the likes of Captain Kuk and Helen Wilson? You mates sure are livin’ large down under! Perhaps that’s why you’re known as Team Fat Paddler.

  8. Brett Burns

    Mate I forgot how much i enjoy being out on the water
    Will have to get out again soon.
    PS the rougher the better loved it in the big swell

  9. Chuck Haberlein

    Great outfit you’ve got there, FP. Looking forward to seeing one of you become Admiral of the Fleet. Will there be a suitably decorative uniform for such a lofty position?

  10. I expect to see no less than an Armada. Take advantage of the power of G+ Hangouts for your strategy sessions.

  11. Love to be a ‘fat paddler’, already am to size and really a female melbournian should be an essential to the team 🙂 now to add the iconic Murray Marathon to the participating events.

  12. Nancy Soares

    Love the intro to all your team members. What a great groupl. I’d love to be at a party with all of yez, it would come close to the best party ever, I’m sure. Fun!!! It’s really wonderful to see TFP grow and thrive.

  13. Haha, thanks Nancy. I think my 40th bday with TFP left it’s mark as one of the greatest and most difficult to remember parties ever!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *