Three rowers from the Eurobodalla Shire will attempt to make history later this month as part of the first ever team to make a surfboat crossing of the Bass Strait.
Brendan Constable and Rod Patmore of the Narooma Surf Life Saving Club, along with Robert Pollock of the Broulee Surfers Surf Life Saving Club will form part of the 12-man team which will begin the journey on January 22. Both Constable and Pollock will act as sweeps - who stand at the back of the boat and steer using a long oar - while Patmore is a rower.
The attempt (which is also known as the Bass Strait Miles for Smiles campaign) will also serve as a fundraising venture to support the Humour Foundation, which aims to provide Clown Doctors to hospitals across Australia to entertain sick children.
On the Foundation's website, it says that Clown Doctors "divert kids during painful procedures, calm and distract in emergency, and provide support during therapy,
"They lighten the hospital environment, supporting parents and assisting staff by delivering 'doses' of fun and laughter in vulnerable settings."
The venture was initially organised by a group of rowers in Sydney, who then reached out to the South Coast trio to see if they wanted to take part.
They were more than happy to jump on board, and Constable said to have such strong representation from the Eurobodalla Shire made the challenge significantly more meaningful.
"Rod's a great mate of mine, and we've rowed together for a number of years. With him and Polly, who's been a sweep up at Broulee for a number of years, it's good to have a South Coast connection," Constable said.
"That was one of the things the boys from Sydney said it would be good to have as we go across. So for us it's a great opportunity and to do it with other people from our area is great."
At the time of writing, the team has raised more than $11,000 of its $100,000 goal for the Humour Foundation.
The journey itself will span roughly 350km across seven legs, the longest individual stretch of which will be approximately 65km. The team will depart from Port Albert in Victoria, and, depending on the weather, hopes to arrive at Little Musselroe Bay in Tasmania's northeast between January 30 and February 6.
As it is the first such crossing in surfboats, the Guinness World Records may even be present to verify the attempt if successful.
Though there are numerous reasons for Constable to have undertaken the crossing, his biggest motivator was the opportunity to see if he could complete the challenge.
"The challenge of doing it is the main thing," he said.
"I think I just love the surfboats and this is obviously going to be very challenging for the rowers and us as sweeps."
Along with the drive to achieve such a monumental physical feat, Constable said raising funds for the Humour Foundation is also motivating the team - some of whom have had personal interactions with the program.
"I think it's great that we can be doing something we love that hopefully people are inspired by and can then donate towards a great cause," he said.
"My initial thoughts were that it was a great challenge personally, and then finding out that we could do this to help with donations to a cause like the Humour Foundation was an added bonus ... it makes you feel like you're not just doing it for yourself, you're helping others too."
Donations can be made to the Humour Foundation here.
Similarly, each member of the team is funding their share of the crossing out of their own pocket. Members of the public can also donate to help cover the team's costs by making a direct deposit to Musselrowers, whose BSB is 062 233 and account number is 1049 2117.
Those who select this option are asked to reference their name and send deposit contact details to Phil at firstname.lastname@example.org.