Blakey Johnston Breaks a World Record With a 30 Hour Surf at Cronulla Beach

An image of Australian surfer Blakey Johnston surfing. He is currently trying to complete a 40 hour surf Cronulla.

Warning: This article deals with the topic of suicide and may be triggering for some readers.

Huge crowds gathered on Friday morning at Cronulla Beach in Sydney’s southeast to cheer on local legend Blake Johnston as he crossed the 30-hour mark to break the record for the longest continuous surf session.

Johnston is a 40-year-old former pro-surfer who has so far raised just shy of a quarter of a million dollars for a mental health charity called the Chumpy Pullin Foundation.

After being in the water for 30 straight hours, with hourly breaks for medical check-ups, food and water, Johnston is planning to spend a further 10 hours in the surf to hit the 40-hour mark, which he should do at 5pm.


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A post shared by Blake Johnston (@blakeyjohnston)

By 7am on Friday, he had surfed somewhere in the vicinity of 525 waves during his mammoth session and told reporters on the beach that he was feeling “pretty cooked.” At this time, he had just surpassed the continuous surf record that was formerly held by the South African, Josh Elsin. In 2015, Elsin caught 455 waves in a 30-hour and 11-minute session in 2015.

“Everyone deserves to feel awesome … deserves to take care of yourself,” Johnston said, fighting back tears as came in to talk to the crowd.

On his website, Johnston notes his personal connection with mental health struggles, having lost his father, Wayne, and three friends to battles with mental illness. The Chumpy Pullin foundation was established by his brother, Ben, who told Sky News that his brother was doing well.

“We’re so immensely proud of what he’s done, and what he is setting out to achieve. This is all about honouring the legacy of our amazing dad,” he said.

“I saw him a moment ago, and he’s smiling and happy. He is a big part of the Cronulla community and he had so many people around him, I think he’s probably running on adrenaline. It’s remarkably physically what he’s doing.”


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A post shared by Blake Johnston (@blakeyjohnston)

Johnston himself told reporters that he battles with his own issues and hopes that the money can be put to good use.

“When I’m pushing through the dark moment on my ultra-mission, I have to remind myself I chose to be here, I’m doing this to become a better person. How good is this? My boys deserve a strong dad,” he said.

If this article brings up any issues for you or anyone you know, or you are experiencing suicidal ideation or are at risk, please contact Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) or Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636), all of which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.

Related: Nedd Brockmann Has Finished His Epic 3,800km Run Across Australia

Related: Surfing Legend Belinda Baggs on the Fight to Protect Our Coastlines

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