Surf trip of a lifetime

Matt Cook and seven mates will ride jet skis from Kirra to Kuta to raise money for Steve Irwin’s Wildlife Warriors and Bring Back Kirra.
Matt Cook and seven mates will ride jet skis from Kirra to Kuta to raise money for Steve Irwin’s Wildlife Warriors and Bring Back Kirra. Blainey Woodham

MATT Cook will be climbing his own Mt Everest when he rides a jet ski from Kirra on the Gold Coast to Kuta in Bali.

The adventurous 40-year-old dreamt up the surf trip of a lifetime four years ago.

“This is my Everest,” Mr Cook said. “I’ve got no desire to climb mountains but this has been a huge passion.”

The world-first attempt will see Mr Cook, of Palm Beach, and seven mates negotiate treacherous waters in search of secluded beaches, diverse marine life and a life-changing experience.

“It’s the longest surf-trip adventure undertaken on a ski,” Mr Cook said.

“It’s not just based around surfing but living off the land and the skis.

“We’ll be free-diving, swimming and snorkelling with minke whales, manta rays, dugongs and sea turtles.”

Mr Cook said the journey would take 10 to 12 weeks. A camera crew will document the trip and Mr Cook said they also hoped to raise money and awareness for the Steve Irwin World Wildlife Foundation and Bring Back Kirra.

“We’re doing it in memory of Steve Irwin and the Wildlife Warriors.

“I met Steve when I was doing manta ray research on (Lady) Elliot Island.”

The trip has been fully mapped out with fuel stops, including a few air drops, and an emergency plan.

“We’re going to track the length of the Great Barrier Reef, going to inner and outer reefs, and get to Darwin to refuel and rebuild,” Mr Cook said.

“From there we’ll make our way through East Timor and Indonesia.”

Mr Cook said they hoped to leave in March next year, chasing cyclone swells through North Queensland.

“All the skis are fully customised, thanks to Jet Tech. Safety is one of our big priorities. We hope we won’t spend a night on the water, but we’ve got provisions to turn the skis into a pontoon.”

Can you help?

“We’re looking for a few sponsors because it’s going to cost a bit.”

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