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Reproduced courtesy of James Castrission and Justin Jones of Crossing the Ditch

unwired Media Coverage Unwired 2007-2008 - Crossing the Ditch

Date: 2007 - 2008
Overall: 297 x 210 x 17 mm, 625 g
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by James Castrission and Justin Jones of Crossing the Ditch
Object Copyright: © James Castrission and Justin Jones of Crossing the Ditch
Object Name: Newspaper articles
Object No: 00047277

User Terms

    A bundle of news articles related to the Crossing the Ditch World First Trans-Tasman Kayak Expedition successfully undertaken by James Castrission and Justin Jones in 2007/2008. The articles follow Castrission and Jones journey from Australia to New Zealand, and their return back to Australia on completion of their journey.
    SignificanceThe Crossing the Ditch collection is a significant historical resource to demonstrate the technologies, equipment and material available in 2007 for long distance kayaking. It is a unique record of how two young Australian men teamed together in 2007 and prepared themselves physically, mentally and emotionally to become the first people to kayak across the Tasman Sea non-stop. This was an extraordinary achievement that caught the imaginations of both Australians and New Zealanders and attracted widespread publicity.

    The collection shows the personal world created and inhabited by James Castrission and Justin Jones, including what they used, ate, did and wore during the 62 days they survived at sea on their record-breaking voyage. The Crossing the Ditch collection is also the subject of an extensive repository of written and photographic documentation held by a wide variety of sources - reporting, discussing and recording the extreme nature of the achievement.

    HistoryOn 13 November 2007 Sydney-based James Castrission and Justin Jones left Forster, on the mid-north coast of Australia, to become the first successful kayak expedition to cross the Tasman Sea. Sixty-two days later on 13 January 2008, after paddling 3318km, they arrived in New Zealand, landing at Nganotu Beach near New Plymouth on the North Island.

    Their kayak LOT 41 was named after the auction lot number of the famous New Zealand-born race horse Phar Lap. Known only as 'Lot 41' when it was sold from Wellington to a Sydney trainer in 1928, the horse crossed the Tasman to become Australia's most famous race horse Phar Lap.

    Naming their expedition 'Crossing the Ditch' after the colloquial expression used to refer to travel between Australia and New Zealand, the pair had achieved both the 'world first' of successfully kayaking across the Tasman Sea, and attained the world record for 'the longest trans-oceanic kayaking expedition undertaken by two expeditioners'. Their remarkable voyage, which was tracked in real time through their website, is the subject of a documentary and book, both of which were published and released in 2009.

    Castrission and Jones' achievement is further contextualised by the ill-fated attempt by Australian adventurer Andrew McAuley to become the first solo kayaker to cross the Tasman Sea in early 2007. After paddling for over a month from Tasmania's east coast, McAuley was lost at sea within sight of the South Island of New Zealand. His kayak and its remaining contents, retrieved two days after his disappearance, were donated to the ANMM by his widow Vicki McAuley and friend Paul Hewitson in December 2007.

    Castrission and Jones chose a more northerly route across the Tasman than McAuley, selecting their departure and arrival points on their topographical reputations as safe and protected harbours. The double kayakers were acutely aware that the most dangerous parts of their voyage were the landfalls, in particular, the final coming ashore in New Zealand.

    In 2009/10, Castrission and Jones, as successful ocean-going adventurers, were engaged as motivational advisors to 16 year-old Australian girl Jessica Watson as she prepared for her attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo non-stop and unassisted around the world.

    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: unwired Media Coverage Unwired 2007-2008 - Crossing the Ditch

    Collection title: Crossing the Ditch collection

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