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02 Jun 2021, 12:12 PM UTC

Kalbarri paddleboarders plan gruelling 100km paddle for Cyclone Seroja relief

Kalbarri paddleboarders plan gruelling 100km paddle for Cyclone Seroja relief
Source: ABC
A Kalbarri couple has been training to complete a gruelling 100-kilometre paddleboarding marathon to raise money for people impacted by Cyclone Seroja. Stand-up paddleboarding champion Chloe Walkerdene and her coach and partner, Kane DeGrauw, say the arduous day of paddling is their way of contributing to the town in the aftermath of the cyclone. They are yet to pinpoint the exact date of the paddle but plan to pick a weekend of still winter weather to set off around 3:30am and travel 20 five-kilometre loops in the Murchison River to help raise the funds. They welcome anyone interested to join them for parts of the journey. "It's to promote the town and get the support that everyone needs to rebuild," Ms Walkerdene said. Paddleboarding diehards The duo are diehard paddleboarders who rise every day at 4:00am to squeeze in training before work. Their training regime is designed to get Ms Walkerdene back on the world paddleboarding tour when COVID restrictions lift. She has competed on the tour in places like London and the United States, and took out the New Zealand Stand Up Paddleboarding Championships last year. But COVID put the competition on hold and saw the couple move from the Gold Coast to Mr De Grauw's childhood home of Kalbarri to continue to work, study and train. Then Cyclone Seroja hit. "We were all huddled together in the living room ? myself, Chloe, Mum, two dogs and the rabbit and Dad was down on the boat," Mr De Grauw said. "It was pretty crazy and we have a lot of friends around town who have lost everything, so we just want to put the money straight towards them to do whatever is going to help them most."