Unfortunately, thanks to the wrath of Australian weather, Matt Scarce was unable to complete his 24 hour challenge. However, he will be re-attempting his valiant effort, and we much prefer him unbruised and breathing and support his decision to abort mission in the face of a tropical cyclone. Of course, nobody could say this better than the man himself:
As most of you are probably aware by now the 24hr Challenge was unsuccessful. I am very disappointed to have not completed the paddle. It was always going to be a touch and go situation with the Low (now cyclone) up north pushing big swells and winds into the Southeast coast.
I put up a good fight in the arm wrestle with Mother Nature, but she was way too strong! Even in full moonlight it was difficult to negotiate the 1-1.5m swell and 15-20 knot winds that were coming at me side on. My fatigue factor was a big concern and considering I was still somewhat sheltered by Moreton Island, to continue would mean facing even bigger seas, stronger winds, and, to top it off, dangerous surf. With a lot of beaches already being closed to swimmers, I decided to make a SMART decision (pointed out by my facilitator at Annerley) and live to fight another day.
However, SMART Recovery Australia encourages us to focus on the positives:
I covered 63.54km in 10h 45m with an avg. speed of 5.9kph. This is very close to my plan and given I was still able to do that despite the conditions, this gives me confidence in my preparations for the next challenge.
Sidney and Nathan, who came up from Sydney, have given their time and experience in film making to capture some amazing footage to help put together a film that will showcase the challenge and highlight SMART Recovery Australia. The setback has provided a bit of drama for the story. Massive thank you to both of you. It would have been a very long, cold and wet night laying on the grass wrapped in an emergency blanket waiting for help if you guys weren’t there!
We were able to raise more awareness about SMART Recovery Australia and the great work they do all around Australia.
Also the opportunity has been given to me to provide a SMART example of learning the lessons from a set back and applying them to another attempt, which at this stage is looking to be either 13-15 July or 20-22 July 2018.
Thank you for the privilege of being a SMART Recovery Ambassador. Thank you also to the whole team with special thanks to Michael and Liam for all your input along the way! Looking forward to working with you both more as we build on this leading into the second attempt.