Pearson completes marathon paddle
RECORD-BREAKING stand up paddler Mark Pearson achieved his most impressive feat to date last Saturday, completing a 42km (22.67nm) solo paddle between Shute Harbour and Whitehaven Beach.
Pearson has completed a host of long range unassisted paddles but Saturday's effort was the most impressive, spending nearly six hours on his board as he travelled the 42km through Whitsunday waters.
With weather conditions pivotal to the success of these long trips, Pearson had been looking for a window of opportunity to depart over the last few weeks and left in ideal conditions early Saturday morning.
"I was actually on my way to Fight Night at the PCYC when a mate of mine rang me and suggested that Saturday morning would be a great window of opportunity," Pearson said.
"I got up early, departed Shute Harbour at around 7pm and had a dream run through the Whitsunday Passage. I was making really good time and reached Hamilton Island in about two hours." After passing Hamilton, Pearson said the wind changed and made his journey that much more difficult.
"It was like riding a bike with two flat tyres for a while there but I managed to push through and I arrived at Whitehaven Beach after being on the board for about five and a half hours".
His record-setting achievement saw him cross all the major passages of the Whisundays while travelling the same distance as a marathon runner on the water, and Pearson was always confident that he would reach his goal.
"I wouldn't do these long unassisted paddles if I wasn't 100 per cent sure on them. I have over 20 years of experience with all paddle sports and I know the local conditions really well," he said.
"I need to give a big thumbs up to Sunny King for supplying me with a board. They have been a great supporter."
Pearson will take some time off before aiming up for another stand up paddle next year, as he plans to paddle 100km (54nm) from Shute Harbour to the outer reef.