Chris Evans | An introduction
Dale Stanton is a kiter, shaper, photographer, adventurer and all round waterman! Kiting since 1999 Dale’s kiting accomplishments continue to grow and gather momentum. A quick snapshot on how far Dale’s come since 1999 below:
2017 – Overall champion – Ian Young perpetual trophy – Lancelin Ocean Classic
2017 -4th Lancelin Ocean Classic Kitesurfing race
2016 – 3rd Western Australian Kitesurfing State Titles
2015 – 1st – Lancelin Ocean Classic Kitesurfing championship (waves)
2015 – 1st Place RedBull Light house 2 Leighton – Twintip
2014 – 1st Place Lancelin Ocean Classic – Kitesurfing Marathon
2012 – 2nd Place – Redbull Lighthouse to Leighton
2011 – 1st Place – Redbull Lighthouse to Leighton
Quipmo are absolutely stoked have Dale shares his latest adventure with us – Mates, 1000kms and Gnaraloo
Dale Stanton | Date 7/01/18
Gnaraloo – let’s make it happen!
So I get a call from an old friend from Melbourne and he’s toying with the idea of a Gnaraloo trip. To put it in perspective its been about 7 years since our last kiting/windsurfing trip together and life is pretty busy these days, more so when you run your own business. My first instinct was to say, “Are you kidding me, that place is amazing, I can’t believe you’ve never been there, lets make it happen”. I didn’t think it would as there are a lot of things that need to fall into place, especially when you live a few thousand kilometres apart. Safe to say a few phone calls and emails over the weeks with a solid swell and wind forecast before you knew it I was picking them up from Perth Airport straight into a 12 hour drive north (about 1000km).
Now if you haven’t been to Gnaraloo, its unique. The first thing is, you need to take your own water, fuel and camping supplies, they say normally about 10L-15L a day per person, so for three people staying 7 days thats a lots of space that could be used for surfboards, kites and all the other fun toys you need up there. Gnaraloo is about 2 hrs north of Carnarvon, not to mention a long and bumpy ambulance ride back to town if you ding your self up bad so make sure you take a decked out first aid kit. I never travel without a roll of fixamol, betadine, hydrogen peroxide and antiseptic powder. Any surfer who’s travels the globe knows this is essential kit.
Before we left we did some planning and figured I didn’t have enough camping gear to deck out the gang so we booked a cabin up at the homestead. Best idea ever!!!!! I didn’t have to mini tanker of water and the cabins had a fridge, freezer, shower and a few other mod cons that you don’t get sleeping in a tent. This was my first taste of luxury in the desert and it was worth every penny.
So we got on the road around 10am after a some flight delays and arrived in Carnarvon at about 8:30pm. Thankfully I just missed clipping a large cow that decided standing in the middle of the road in the dark was a good idea. Hitting the beast at 100km/hr would make a mess of my car and be a trip ender, if not a free trip to hospital. I recommend stopping in town at some of the local farms to pick up some fresh fruit and veggies. (just follow the signs) It tastes amazing and is good value. I do the same on the way home and give away boxes to my folks.
A quick run around to get some last minute booze supplies and were were on our way. The remaining part of the journey takes a little longer as its on sandy corregated tracks and there are plenty of roos to dodge. If you’ve got this far to only to see the bitumen suddenly disappear and you’ve never driven on corregated tracks before, this is a good time to let your tyres down to about 20psi. It’ll definitely make the trip smoother and keep the fillings in your teeth from falling out. Make sure you take a compressor to pump your tyres up on the return trip.
We arrived at the homestead at about 10:30pm which is some 15 mins north of the main camping ground (3mile) and the Melbourne boys were shattered. They had been up since 3am eastern stardard time and it felt like 1:30am for the poor buggers. A quick beer and straight to bed for some well earned shuteye.
The next five days were filled with lazy mornings, lots of coffee, a few desert board repairs and a bucket load of water time. It blew 20-30 knots from the south most days with the wind coming in around 10am. The swell built gradually throughout the week to peak at about 3.5m. Ideal really as you don’t want to rock up and have 10ft bombs exploding on your head the first day and 2 footers at the end of the trip. By the last day I was starting to blow bubbles in my coffee I was that excited… tombstones pumps on a swell that size but its also flippin scary. Daniel from Kiteaddiction in Myaree also made his first trip to Gnaraloo, it was great to see him tearing the bag out of a few bombs and big thanks for the supplies run from town. (cheers Dan)
As hard as it was, we all shared the time behind the camera lens so we could each other on film. Hopefully in 20 years we could look back and reminisce about how good the trip was.
Highlights for everyone
Gnaraloo bay for a relaxing swim in the mornings
Whales swimming through the lineup and tombstones
Gourmet breakfast cook ups on the bbq with fresh produce from Carnarvon
A hot shower at the end of a long day
ICE COLD BEER from the Engel.
Gnaraloo Station has a website and they have plenty of FAQ’s, maps and advice for travellers. The station owners are more than happy to answer any questions you have so enjoy and get amongst it.
A huge thanks to:
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Chris and the Quipmo team!
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