x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Friends paddle around 'World' for charity

Two Dubai residents paddle their way through the surf around the World islands to raise Dh30,000 for isolated regions of Indonesia.

Scott Chambers, left, and Daniel Van Dooren paddle surf around the World islands in Dubai to raise money for Indonesia.
Scott Chambers, left, and Daniel Van Dooren paddle surf around the World islands in Dubai to raise money for Indonesia.

Two Dubai residents paddled their way through the surf around the World islands yesterday to raise money for isolated regions of Indonesia. The avid surfers Daniel Van Dooren and Scott Chambers - who have travelled to Indonesia many times in search of the perfect wave - paddled 32km in four hours while standing on a longboard. They have raised about Dh30,000 (US$8,200) on their way to a hoped-for Dh50,000.

Their efforts will benefit SurfAid International, an organisation that works at improving the health, well-being and self-reliance of Indonesians. Mr Chambers, 26, a Brazilian who was born in Sharjah, said that he and Mr Van Dooren were "blessed with good conditions", which helped cut down the time of the challenge. "We were very lucky, although the last 5km were quite challenging as by then, the wind had started to pick up."

"This is an intense journey and is not easy," said Mr Van Dooren, 23, who grew up in Dubai. Known as Hoe He'e Nalu in Hawaiian, stand-up surfing involves standing on a long surfboard and propelling it with a paddle. It is an emerging global sport that has been taken up on a competitive level in places as varying as Texas and Australia. The two men, who founded the surfing school Surf Dubai, said that stand-up surfing had become increasingly popular over the past two years.

Participants use a much longer and larger board than a regular surfer might, which allows for greater balance on the water. "It's really popular as it doesn't rely on great waves. It's a great form of fitness and it really cultivates core strength and balance," Mr Chambers said. mswan@thenational.ae