The Coast Paddle planned for September

Bryan Dorfling

Budgewoi’s Bryan Dorfling is getting ready to tackle his next big adventure.

No stranger to a grand gesture, locals might remember Dorf as the bloke that walked from Budgewoi to Brisbane in 2019 to raise awareness for mental health in regional communities.

Dorf trekked over 1,000kms with his trademark pink wig, but now he’s ditching it for a pair of budgie smugglers to raise funds for a cause near and dear to his heart, Camp Breakaway.

Dorf has been a long time volunteer at the San Remo based respite provider and with Breakaway now coming out the other side of a pandemic shutdown he’s hoping to drum up some interest as well as a few dollars to help the organisation get back on its feet.

Not one for subtlety, Dorf has opted to revive the Bondi 2 Budge Big Swim, and kickstart a new event, The Coast Paddle, to get the ball rolling.

Spearheaded by community groups Live To Give Oz and Team EarthDowns, The Coast Paddle will see Dorf hit the surf at Catherine Hill Bay Beach on September 12 to swim and paddle sections of a 45km course to Avoca Beach.

He’ll be joined by a handful of mates, with the event also open to all interested locals who want to join Dorf in the water or by surf ski, paddle board, jet ski or boat, floaties not recommended.

Aside from putting the focus on Breakaway, the paddle will also act as the final proving ground for Dorf as he prepares for the Bondi 2 Budge.

Taking place on December 4, the gargantuan undertaking will see Dorf embark on a 100km swim from Bondi Beach to Budgewoi and replaces the previously cancelled Budge 2 Bondi that was due to take place in May.

For Dorf, the delay has proven to be a hidden blessing, giving the larrikin more time to train his body and mind for what’s to come.

It’s also given him scope to reverse the Big Swim, something he’s very happy about.

“Getting to do the Big Swim in reverse means it’ll be like a homecoming, plus it’ll be nice to be able to get out of the water and then just walk home,” Dorf said.

With the countdown now on, Dorf’s hopeful that the hard work of everyone involved will translate into real benefits for Breakaway.

“Being a part of the Breakaway family is very special to me.

“Seeing the wonderful work that they do firsthand is awesome, and getting to meet all these beautiful, amazing people living their lives despite their challenges, is humbling.

“It really does give you a different perspective on what’s important,” Dorf said.

Dilon Luke

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