An Australian man has broken the record for the longest surf session ever held in a bid to raise money for a mental health charity.
Blake Johnston, 40, hit the huge milestone after spending 30 hours and 11 minutes in the water at Cronulla beach in south Sydney.
The former pro surfer took to the water at 2am on Thursday and will continue surfing until Friday evening, taking his record up to 40 hours.
During a short break, Johnston admitted that “everything hurts” and the marathon session was harder than he anticipated.
“I’ve surfed my whole life but never in this realm. Yeah, it’s been a mental and physical challenge, to say the least,” he told Nine’s Today show.
People have gathered along the beach to witness the world record attempt and offer support.
Johnston is performing the gruelling feat to raise money for the Chumpy Pullin Foundation. The charity was set up to honour the memory of professional snowboarder Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, who died in 2020.
Johnston lost his father, Wayne, to suicide a decade ago.
“This is to honour the anniversary of our dad ... for Blake, it’s been like this crazy journey since we lost our dad,” brother Ben said. “This is just something to honour that and he really wants to actively show people that there are tools to deal with mental health.”
The physical strain of 40 hours in the water is extreme, with risks including sunburn, dehydration, sharks and marine stingers. The plan was to raise $250,000 (£205,000) for the foundation and more than $200,000 (£164,000) has already been donated.