Categories: Sports

Australian Surfs For 40 Hours To Smash World Record


Australian Blake Johnston on Friday shredded the world record for the longest surfing session, dodging swarms of jellyfish to ride hundreds of waves across 40 punishing hours.

The 40-year-old former surfing pro broke down in tears after smashing South African Josh Enslin’s previous record of 30 hours and 11 minutes.

Johnston surfed back to shore in the evening to rapturous applause from hundreds of supporters who had gathered at Sydney’s Cronulla Beach to watch.

Wearing a black cowboy hat and draped in a thermal blanket, he was carried off the beach on his friends’ shoulders after finally hanging up his surfboard.

READ ALSO: ‘The Wire’ Star Lance Reddick Dead At 60

Johnston raised more than Aus$330,000 (US$221,000) for mental health, taking on the record to mark 10 years since losing his father to suicide.

He rode more than 700 waves in setting the record, braving pitch-black seas that are home to many species of shark.

“I’ve still got a job to do. I said 40 (hours) so I’ll go and give it a crack,” he told reporters earlier in the day, after passing the previous 30-hour record.

“I’m pretty cooked, yeah, but we’ll push through.”

Johnston eventually surfed for more than 40 hours — having started at 1:00 am on Thursday, using large spotlights to illuminate the water — but his official record time was not immediately known.

Under the rules of the attempt, he was allowed to sporadically leave the ocean so he could soothe his eyes with eyedrops, refuel with snacks and lather himself up in sunscreen.

Medics would check his heart rate and blood pressure before he dashed back into the swell.

With Sydney in the grip of a minor heatwave, the water temperature has been hovering around a balmy 24 degrees Celsius (75 degrees Fahrenheit), lessening the risk of hypothermia.

– ‘Only 30 hours’ –

Johnston had originally planned to raise money by tackling a 1,000-kilometre run (620 miles), but settled on surfing when he saw the previous record was “only” 30 hours.

“I thought I could just do it,” he said before the attempt.

“I push myself to the limits with my adventures and to prove to myself that I’m worthy and can get through hard times, and that’s when my lessons are learnt.”

He anticipated infected ears, dehydration and sleep deprivation would push his body to its limits.

Johnston’s brother Ben said they had also prepared for the possibility of a shark attack, but it wasn’t something that had worried them.

“I surfed at two in the morning with him and the lights actually went out so it was pitch black,” he told national broadcaster ABC.

“There were a whole bunch of jellyfish out there, so it was interesting to say the least.”

It is not Johnston’s first time taking part in a marathon test of human endurance.

In 2020, he ran 100 kilometres along the rugged coastline south of Sydney — covering the vast majority of the trek in bare feet.

Donatus Anichukwueze

Disqus Comments Loading...
Published by
Donatus Anichukwueze
Tags: Blake Johnston

Recent Posts

  • Headlines

Wike Says BVAS Reduced Electoral Violence, Slams Ayu For PDP’s Poor Performance

  Rivers State Governor Nysom Wike has responded to a wide range of issues bordering on the continuous perception of…

5 mins ago
  • Business
  • Local

Emefiele Apologises For Failed Electronic Transactions

The CBN Governor assured Nigerians that the issue will be resolved quickly.

15 mins ago
  • World News

Russian Drone Attack On School Kills Four In Kyiv Region

Emergency Services say a fire affecting more than 300 square metres (3,200 square feet) of the school was extinguished shortly…

16 mins ago
  • Politics

Don’t Be Used To Abort Wishes Of Enugu People, LP Tells INEC

The LP said INEC owes itself a duty to protect its integrity which is already challenged and ensure that the…

28 mins ago
  • Headlines

Why Social Media Influencer Chude Was Arrested – Police

In his tweet, the social media influencer alleged that Soludo’s political party, APGA, was involved in the rigging of the…

1 hour ago
  • Politics

Kano Gov: Seek Redress In Court, NNPP’s Doguwa Tells APC 

NNPP's Abba Kabir Yusuf was declared winner of Saturday's governorship election in Kano State.

2 hours ago