RAISING AWARENESS: Ben Smith and Dylan Dhamu skating through Byron Bay on their way to Burleigh Heads to raise money for Sea Shepherd
RAISING AWARENESS: Ben Smith and Dylan Dhamu skating through Byron Bay on their way to Burleigh Heads to raise money for Sea Shepherd Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Skating to save the whales

TRAVELLING almost 900 kilometres from Bondi Beach to Burleigh Heads on skateboards, Dylan Dhamu and Ben Smith said they did it for the whales.

The two men decided to do the trip quite spontaneously to raise money and awareness for Sea Shepherd's 'Operation Relentless', the tenth annual Artic campaign to protect whales from the Japanese fleet.

The Sea Shepherd armada, The Steve Irwin, The Sam Simon and The Bob Barker left port last Wednesday while Dylan and Ben were somewhere along the Pacific Highway, having left Bondi last Sunday.

Travelling up to 130 kilometres a day, they were in Byron Bay on Saturday afternoon and planned to be in Burleigh Heads by Sunday afternoon.

They have a few cuts and bruises and were definitely looking forward to reaching their destination.

Asked what the first thing he would do when he finished the trip, Dylan said "probably throw the skateboard in the bin - I never want to see it again!"

This is the first time either of them have done anything for Sea Shepherd, but they are pleased with the $1500 they have raised so far.

"My girlfriend sort of inspired me, she's a volunteer for Sea Shepherd," Dylan said. "They do such a great job, last year they stopped the Japanese from reaching something like 98% of their target."

The boys have mostly been travelling on the Pacific Highway medium strip and said they have gotten used to the traffic rushing past.

"The trucks are the worst, blaring their horns."

Their skateboards are set up for riding downhill with fat wheels for all sorts of terrain, but they said they didn't anticipate how bad the road would be in some parts and have ended up doing a fair bit of walking.

The said people they have encountered along the way have been very supportive of the cause.

"They've been great and going to the Facebook page and donating straight away."



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