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Trolley for surf ski ST CHRIS

Overall: 330 x 870 x 2880 mm
Medium: Wood, metal, rubber
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from the Estate of John Mervin 'Jack' O'Brien
Object Name: Trolley
Object No: 00039661

User Terms

    This wooden trolley was used by surf and fitness enthusiast Jack O'Brien on his Blackbird bicycle to tow his single surf ski ST CHRIS from his home in North Manly to the beach. ST CHRIS was one of at least three skis that he owned and used off the northern beaches of Sydney where he lived.
    SignificanceThis trolly was used by John 'Jack' O'Brien, who pioneered endurance surf ski paddling in Australia and completed ten endurance trips from 1940 to 1962 between Wollongong, Sydney and Newcastle.
    HistoryJohn 'Jack' O'Brien, former Queenscliff lifesaver and professional boxer, was a pioneer of endurance solo paddling using single and double surf skis. Over the course of ten trips from 1940 to 1962 he attempted or set non-stop paddling records on ocean trips between Wollongong, Sydney and Newcastle. His training regime included cycling 48 km a day, following a strict vegetarian diet and 24 hour endurance paddling sessions.

    Being tied to his craft in rough seas, navigating by day and night and avoiding hazards such as reefs, rocks and sharks were all part of the challenge. In 1952 he claimed a world record for the greatest distance for non-stop ocean paddling in a 24 hour period, paddling 128km in 22 hours between Watson's Bay and Newcastle. Although his claims were contested in the media and subsequently bettered by others, he is remembered for pushing the boundaries of ocean paddling on surf skis.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: ST CHRIS trolley

    Web title: Trolley for surf ski ST CHRIS

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