Jet ski rider Lindsay Warner 5 days away from a 5 month mission to ride around Australia
ABC Kimberley / By Hinako Shiraish i
Floating off the coast of Broome is a man on a jet ski who is aiming to be the first person to ride solo around Australia, break a world record and raise awareness about men’s mental health issues.
Lindsay Warner has had a 30-year career as a real estate agent in South Australia, flying planes and racing motorcycles in his spare time.
But now, the 63-year-old is nearly finished with a five-month jet ski trip around Australia, trying to break the world record of 7,404 kilometres set by South African jet skier Marinus Du Plessis in 2018.
He started his journey in Exmouth on March 1 last year, but it was cut short in Esperance by the onset of the COVID pandemic.
On April 1 this year, he picked up where he left off.
So far, Mr Warner has travelled more than 14,000 kilometres in total.
But an unbroken streak this year is already at 10,000 kilometres — unofficially breaking the world record in solo jet skiing.
Now, in Broome, he is contemplating the end of the journey and the verification of the record by Guinness.
“After five months on the water, I’ve got five days to go,” he said.
“And I don’t even want to think about that because I don’t want anything to go wrong. I want to have five good days.”
Mr Warner says pre-planning has given him the confidence to proceed on the epic voyage.
He has mapped out 101 days on the water in a spreadsheet and, as expected, the journey has not been cheap.
He uses an average of 250 litres of fuel a day and at roughly $2 a litre, that’s around $50,000 for the whole journey — just for fuel.
“I suppose when you follow your dreams, it does cost,” he said.
Although Mr Warner is raising awareness of men’s mental health on his journey, he makes sure he takes the time time to check on his own mental state.
“What I found on this trip is that I have to concentrate one day at a time. I know it’s a cliché,” he said.
Mr Warner’s mantra is if he concentrates on little goals ‘then the big goal will take care of itself’.
He regularly contacts his family and he has a GPS tracker so that loved ones can track his progress every 10 minutes.
Mental health awareness
“If my son was doing this, I’d be concerned for his safety and welfare so I appreciate there is a serious safety component to what I’m doing,” he said.
He has also discovered that talking to people on his journey helps spread awareness in a very real way.
“It’s interesting when you raise the topic of men’s mental health” he said.
“It opens up a very large book of things to talk about. And people do open up to me so even though I don’t have all the answers, I think starting the conversation is very interesting.”
Every night Mr Warner anchors his ski offshore and then in the morning he hops back on.
If he’s not up and ready to go early, there’s a chance the ski will get bogged in the sand as the tide flows out, so Mr Warner paddles his ski out with the tide in pitch darkness.
It might seem extreme but for him, it is ‘pretty normal’.
His arrival in Exmouth this week will mark the end of his epic journey.
“I think you’ve got to maintain your love of things and in my life it’s getting outdoors and perhaps doing things a bit extreme,” he said.