This event was an authentic tribute to Blake’s late father, Wayne, and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. It has captured the hearts and imagination of the entire globe, who are fascinated by Blake’s incredible feat.
Cronulla, Australia – March 18, 2023 – In a stunning display of athleticism and commitment to mental health awareness, local surfer Blakey Johnston broke the world record for the longest surf session on March 17, 2023. Nearing more than $400,000 (and counting) for the Chumpy Pullin Foundation, the event was a fitting tribute to the Johnston family’s late father, Wayne Johnston, who tragically took his life ten years ago this week.
Starting at 1 am on March 16, Blakey Johnston set out to conquer the waves and raise awareness for youth mental health. After an incredible 40 hours and 7 minutes, he achieved both goals, finishing at 5:07 pm on March 17, amassing 707 waves and smashing the world record. The event, covered by media outlets in over 30 countries, brought global attention to the importance of mental health support and the inspiring work of the Chumpy Pullin Foundation.
More than 20,000 people turned out on Cronulla Beach over the 40-hour surf session to watch Blakey and support his incredible cause.
The Chumpy Pullin Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to breaking down barriers and providing support and inspiration for every Australian to participate and grow through sport and life, partnered with Blakey to raise funds for their vital programs. The foundation was established in memory of the late Australian snowboarder Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, who was also deeply passionate about mental health advocacy.
With its five core pillars – Youth Development and Pathways, Mental Health, Support for Marginalised Communities, Education, and the Natural Environment – the Chumpy Pullin Foundation aims to create a brighter future for the youth of Australia. Two of the core pillars represented the event, with Blakey inviting 16-year-old artist Selby (Kai Rennie & Darcy Szanto) to play for the event & of course, youth mental health.
The event held deep personal significance for Blakey, his wife Lauren, their sons Bobby and Duke, and his brother Ben. Having lost their father to suicide, the family understands the importance of mental health support and is committed to making a difference in the lives of young people who may be struggling. Witnessing the community come together and raise nearly $400,000 and counting was inspiring and a true reflection of the strength of the community and the country.
Blakey’s incredible feat of endurance and strength during his world record-breaking surf session is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. It is a powerful reminder that, with determination and support, we can overcome even the most difficult challenges.
The funds raised from this extraordinary event will go a long way in helping the Chumpy Pullin Foundation continue its essential work in mental health awareness and support for young people. The Johnston family’s unwavering dedication to this cause will undoubtedly inspire many others to join them to create a brighter future for today’s youth.
As the sun set on Blakey Johnston’s record-breaking surf session, the Cronulla Beach waves conveyed hope and resilience. The message will continue to resonate worldwide as the Chumpy Pullin Foundation and the Johnston family continue their vital work.
Thank you from the Chumpy Pullin Foundation team; In addition to the incredible efforts of Blakey Johnston and the Chumpy Pullin Foundation, this remarkable event would not have been possible without the support of numerous partners, donors, and volunteers. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the major partners: Ray White Sutherland, Johnston Advisory, RENY®Studio, Surfing NSW, Rip Curl, 1800 for Promo, and Cronulla Surfing Academy.
We are also immensely grateful to our generous sponsors, including Maxum, Quiksilver, Rip Curl, Rydges, Rotary Club of Cronulla, Sealevel, Pedal, Avcon, Red Bull, Surfline, Thinking Works, Triple Bull, Surf Mud, Shorehire, Sydney City Motorcycles, Chilli Surfboards, Roley, Sharkbanz, Fishbowl, Recoverie and Fat 4.
Your invaluable contributions helped create a memorable and impactful event that has raised significant funds and awareness for youth mental health.
To the countless volunteers who dedicated their time and energy to ensuring the smooth execution of the event, we cannot thank you enough. Your passion, commitment, and tireless work played a crucial role in the success of this extraordinary fundraiser. Together, we have made a real difference in the lives of countless young people, and we look forward to continuing our partnership to pursue a brighter future for all.