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Jack O'Brien's surf ski scrapbook

Overall: 305 x 25 x 25 mm, 1.12 kg
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from the Estate of John Mervin 'Jack' O'Brien
Object Name: Scrapbook
Object No: 00039666

User Terms

    Endurance surf ski paddler Jack O'Brien documented his voyages in this scrapbook. It contains press photographs, news clippings, telegrams and letters of congratulation dating from the 1940s to 2005.
    SignificanceThis scrap book belonged to 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. It provides important records of O'Brien's achievments.
    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: Jack O'Brien's surf ski trip

    Web title: Jack O'Brien's surf ski scrapbook

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