The Coast Around Tasmania expedition is an epic jetski excursion to circumnavigate Tasmania in February 2022. Two schoolmates, Adam Benz & Shane Ridley along with Shane’s son Josh Ridley are undertaking the 9-day journey covering some 1500km over the course of the trip.
However it’s not going to be just about themselves – they’re also doing it for Australians who have been affected by mental health issues or suicide whilst raising funds for Lifeline in the process. Lifeline Darling Downs and Lifeline Tasmania are the official partners of Coast Around Tasmania with all donations going directly to support initiatives within the community.
“We chose to raise funds for suicide prevention because it’s a big problem in Australia,” says Adam Benz.
Josh adds: “Life can be tough sometimes but people you can talk to are just a phone call away, that’s why it was important for us to support the amazing Lifeline cause.”
“Together with our sponsors, we want to give back to Australians who have been touched by mental health issues or suicide,” said Shane Ridley. “We hope this event will be a catalyst for conversation and bring the issue of mental health out in the open.”
Coast Around Tasmania is a stark contrast from what these jetskiers are used to in the sheltered waters of the Gold Coast in Queensland, with rough weather conditions expected to increase the challenge of this already gruelling journey.
The expedition will see the team drive from Queensland to the start and finish point in Hobart – Tassie’s capital city – anticlockwise up the East coast, along the north of the island, then turning south along the rugged west coast. They’ll then head over to Bruny Island off Tasmania’s south coast before circling back to Hobart and across the finish line. Along for the journey will be a road-based support crew comprised of Shane’s wife Roslyn, Adam’s wife Holly, a full-time medic and an entourage of their friends.
“This coast is certainly going to challenge us more than any other in Australia,” said Adam Benz. “The coastline is more hazardous with cliffs, rocks and huge swells”
While they’ll experience the best of Tasmanian weather, the team will face some unique challenges on their journey. Roaring 40-knot winds and up to 4 metre swells off the west coast of Tasmania are expected to make conditions hazardous for them during their transit along that part of the coastline. The three jet skiers will need to travel at least 7.5 hours a day over 9 days in order to complete their circumnavigation (not including weather lay-days).
Coast Around Tasmania is also about shining a light on some of the spectacular scenery and hidden gems along this coast, some not visited for decades. The team will ride around some of the most remote parts of the Tasmanian wilderness to help give an insight into the local areas and people and what makes them so special.
“We want to bring these places back to life,” says Adam. “There are stories about every bay on this coast.”
They’ll also be filming a documentary of this epic adventure to share it with a wider audience to help inspire and motivate others and will be capturing some 1665+ hours of footage on more than 29 recording devices such as GoPro’s and drones. Plus, they’ll be live-streaming to social media from various legs of the trip.
In the 26-week lead-up to the main trip, the team have a rigorous training and fitness regime that will see them circumnavigating 6 islands of QLD’s southeast coast to gain valuable time and experience on the water.
“Coast Around Tasmania is going to be a gruelling ride at times but we’re up for the challenge,” Shane said. “We’ll experience some of the most spectacular scenery in Australia.”
Anyone wishing to donate directly to the Coast Around Tasmania Lifeline cause can do so by visiting coastaroundtas.com/donate. To follow Adam, Shane and Josh on their amazing Tasmanian jetski expedition go to their Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok social channels at coastaroundtas.