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Pete Wilson Set To Paddle For The Kids

By Tom Penistone on June 17, 2014 in News

Photo: Dan Hutton

Photo: Dan Hutton

Coogee endurance athlete Pete Wilson will tackle the Hawaiian Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships in July in his latest awe-inspiring fundraising challenge.

The Molokai race is seen as the pinnacle of paddleboarding, and Wilson will set off with 75 other competitors from the Hawaiian island of Molokai and paddle approximately 51 kilometers through changing currents to the island of Oahu. The average time for completion of the race is over five hours.

“It is without a doubt one of the hardest things I will ever do to myself,” Wilson said. “This race is the toughest of the tough in regards to stand up paddling and only the best in the world have a crack at it, so it’s an honour and a privilege to be in the final field.”

Despite the difficulty of the challenge, Mr Wilson is hardly phased by the task at hand, having previously completed a number of other ultra endurance events including running across the Sahara Desert and trekking to the South Pole.

“Over the years I have always put my body on the line for others and this will definitely be no different,” he said.

Wilson is taking on the Molokai race in a bid to raise money for the family of Paul Weeks, who was involved in the Malaysian Airlines disaster that has left 239 people missing, presumed dead.

Weeks, a 39 year-old engineer from New Zealand, lived in Perth and was onboard Flight M370 on the way to his first shift of a fly-in fly-out job. He leaves behind his wife Danica and their two sons Jack and Lincoln.

Wilson heard about the tragedy through Shannon Rawnsley, a friend of his wife who was also close with the Weeks family, and decided to do what he could to help out.

Rawnsley first met the Weeks family whilst travelling around Europe almost 13 years ago and has kept in contact ever since.

“Paul was one of the most fun-loving larrikins you could ever wish to meet. Not only has he been a great friend to many, he was also an amazing husband and the loving father of their two little boys,” she said.

“Nothing could prepare you for the shock and heartbreak of losing a loved one in such tragic and sudden circumstances. It’s unimaginable what Danica and the boys are going through. I have a daughter myself who is of a similar age to Jack and I can’t even imagine having to tell her that her daddy is missing… just gone.”

Rawnsley has created Paddle 4 The Kids in an attempt to raise over $100,000 for the Weeks family, and Wilson was quick to jump on board the initiative.

Fundraising will begin at an event at the Coogee Bay Hotel on Saturday, June 28. The event will feature comedians, raffles and guest speakers including surfing legend Tom Carroll and 2013 world paddleboard champion Terrene Black.

Tickets are priced at $51.50 (including booking fee) and can be purchased at www.paddle4thekids.bigcartel.com. Details of how you donate to this great cause can also be found on this website.

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