BIG OCEAN PAD­DLE HAS ABUSE IN ITS WAKE

Herald Sun - Switched On - - COVER STORY -

When Damien Rider pro­posed un­der­tak­ing an 800km solo pad­dle from the Gold Coast to Bondi Beach, not sur­pris­ingly many peo­ple said he was crazy.

With shark-in­fested wa­ters, treach­er­ous reefs, no sup­port crew and 17 days of phys­i­cal pain and men­tal en­durance ahead, it is a feat no­body had pre­vi­ously dared at­tempt.

But the 40-year-old, who started pad­dle­board­ing only eight months be­fore this record-break­ing ad­ven­ture, said he never doubted his rea­sons for the trip.

Hav­ing been re­peat­edly phys­i­cally abused and raped from the age of six, Rider said he wanted to raise aware­ness for his char­ity, PACA (Pad­dle Against Child Abuse).

For over 30 years, Rider had suf­fered from post trau­matic

“It’s ba­si­cally just you and the wa­ter and the pain you

go through”

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