Why Are We Going?
The plan is to paddle an OC6 (six person) outrigger canoe across Bass Strait to raise awareness and money for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation. This will be the first outrigger canoe to cross Bass Strait.
The crossing is also being made to honour two men.
Peter Corbishley has been building racing outrigger canoes in Australia for the past 20 years, he has made over 300 OC6 canoes and as an example of his skill in building these canoes many of his first canoes are still in use and continue to be raced today. 95% of the OC6 canoes in Australia were bult by Peter. He has made an enormous contribution to the sport here in Australia and his canoes have even been exported to teams in Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Tahiti, Samoa and New Zealand. After making canoes for many years in his factory in the Whitsundays Peter moved his operation down to Tweed Heads and it was here he finally picked up a paddle and began training and competing in the sport he has contributed so much to.
Earlier last year Peter was diagnosed with Non Hodgkinsons T-Cell Lymphoma a rare and terminal form of skin cancer. As a sign of respect and to honour Peter's contribution to the sport the plan is to paddle with Peter in one of the canoes he has made across Bass Strait. Peter will be part of the crew to raise awareness for cancer and to raise money in aid of Cancer research and to also prove that there is life after diagnosis.
The trip is also being made in honour of Chris Robinson, a paddler and world renowned Greenpeace skipper and activist who sadly lost his battle with cancer this year. Chris devoted his life to protect the oceans from whaling activities, nuclear testing and exploitation. He learnt his skills in Bass Strait and participated in campaigns to give the Bass Strait Islands protected status. Chris was to be the skipper of the support vessel for the crossing. We will be joined for the crossing by his niece Prue Robinson also a champion paddler. For more information about Chris visit www.greenpeace.org/chris
About The Crossing
The distance across Bass Strait is approximately 350km and the planned course will take the canoe island hopping from Wilsons Promontory in Victoria, the most southern tip on mainland Australia to the North Eastern tip of Tasmania. The largest stretch of open ocean to cross is 65km with average distances of 50 kilometers per day. The canoe used will be an Outrigger Connection's Mirage OC6 paddled by a crew of 9 paddlers. A support boat will escort the canoe carrying all the
supplies and extra paddlers. Participants will camp on the Bass Strait Islands. The crossing is planned for late March 2009 and will allow up to 14 days to complete the crossing which will allow for bad weather and to explore some of the beautiful and remote coasts and islands in Bass Strait.