Posted by: paddle4mentawais | November 26, 2010

Paddle for the Mentawais – Get on Board!

Hi and welcome to the blog site for my charity paddle around the island of Abu Dhabi to raise funds for SurfAid International to continue their work in the Mentwai Islands helping survivors of the October Tsunami.

As a special offer, everyone who donates to the cause will get their name written on my board and I will send you a photo of your name.

Below is the blurb I am sending out to people I know. Feel free to copy and paste it to your own email contacts or Facebook friends to get the message out there. If you are referring people to this site, please ask them to look at this first post.

I will be updating this blog with more news and photos when I get a chance.


Paddle for the Mentawais – Get on Board!

The tsunami that hit the Mentawais Islands in October is the second to affect the region in since 2004. Assistance has been made even more difficult as the region is moving into the monsoon season, with weather conditions this year being horrific. Storms bringing winds of more than 100km/hr have prevented boats, which are the only way from bringing supplies in, from making the journey safely. Although news coverage of the disaster has stopped, suffering for the survivors continues.

 I believe the best way to support those affected is by raising money and supporting an organisation already based in the area to support. I was made aware of SurfAid and the work they have been doing in the Mentawai Islands in 2004. I would like to help them continue the work they have been doing in the region since 2000. For more information about their work please go to . The reason I choose to support SurfAid is because they account for all of their income and expenditure through an independent audit which is published on their website each year. Because of this open approach and willingness to invite scrutiny.

To support SurfAid I am going to paddle around the island of Abu Dhabi on my stand-up paddleboard (SUP). The distance is a difficult to accurately gauge, I calculate somewhere between 50-60km. To put this in perspective, the Molokai Channel Challenge, the world endurance championship of Stand Up Paddleboarding between two islands in Hawaii is about the same distance. It should take somewhere between 10-14 hours. I have been training for this challenge since April, as well as competing in a race series (currently 3rd), with a view to doing the paddle on the 2nd or 3rd of December which have favourable tides.

I am using my local and social networks (Facebook, email, school, sporting) to achieve my target; to find 1000 people to donate the amount required to provide a Building Kit (about 100 Dirhams or AUS $29). My goal is to fund 1000 Building Kits for the Mentawai Islands.

I have been building up my training efforts to include a paddle around half the island, from Marina Mall to the Maqta Bridge. I now have a pretty good idea of the task (and blisters) in front of me. Tomorrow, I will be paddling the other half of the island, (from Maqta Bridge to the Corniche). The SUP I am currently using is an ‘all-purpose’ board and not particularly suited to this challenge. If you or anyone you know is aware of a company or anyone interested in assisting with the purchase of a more suitable ‘down-wind’ board I would be very keen to discuss sponsorship. This is a great opportunity to generate goodwill, positive publicity, and get their brand ‘out there’.

If you can donate and pass this message on through your social networks, SurfAid, myself and the survivors in the Mentawai Islands would be extremely grateful for your support.


Russell Yule


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