Time is ticking for Peter and Phillip Jenkins, the two brothers who will attempt an Australian-first by travelling around Australia's harsh coastline in a ‘rubber ducky' for more than 9500km to go ‘over the top' to raise funds and awareness in the battle against prostate cancer.
Beginning in New South Wales (1 August 2011) at the Sydney International Boat Show and finishing nearly two months later in Perth, the Honda Over The Top Expedition involves prostate cancer survivor Peter Jenkins and his brother Phillip.
Powered by twin Honda BF225 outboard engines, the custom 8.6m rigid inflatable boat (RIB) will be home for the brothers for eight weeks.
With just seven weeks to go, the brothers are looking forward to the boat being finished in about a week, before commencing sea trials.
Peter admits there will be hazards and challenges on the trip, but they have thought of everything in terms of technical gear and some unconventional equipment to combat them.
'We've left it a bit late to arrive in the Kimberleys,' he explains. 'It will be mating season for crocodiles and we're in a small boat, so you never know. They can get territorial and aggressive. The young ones can get feisty. We have a friend, Trippy who said to belt them over the head with an oar. So we have one onboard and we've named it 'Trippy's Croc Whacker'.'
According to Peter, the expedition has been strongly supported by sponsors and industry.
'Honda, Furuno and BLA have been unbelievable, and Baileys fuel are supplying the fuel - everybody has been great. The first prize is a week for two on Great Escape Charters which is worth around $34,000 and then many other great prizes. People should take a look at our website www.overthetop.com.au
and see the prizes and all the sponsors and their efforts.'
Honda Australia general manager Vikram Pawah said supporting the expedition was an important decision for Honda, after learning close to 3000 men in Australia die each year from prostate cancer.
'Men's health, particularly prostate cancer, is something rarely spoken about, which is quite strange considering every man could face it at some stage in his life,' Mr Pawah said.
'The fact the majority of Honda customers – right across its cars, motorcycles, power equipment and marine divisions – are males, the expedition is a perfect fit with Honda's global view on social responsibility.
'The Honda Over The Top Expedition celebrates the Aussie adventurous spirit and outdoor culture, at the same time spreading an important message about one of the most common cancers in men in Australia, second only to skin cancer.'
With a family history of prostate cancer and having been diagnosed himself in 2008, skipper Peter Jenkins is passionate about sharing his story with other Australian men.
'I have always been active and healthy, so to hear that I had cancer at 61 was shocking,' Mr Jenkins said.
'I was lucky, I detected prostate cancer early and was able to receive treatment by the least invasive method, Brachytherapy.
'As a typical bloke who doesn't like visiting the GP, like most Australian men, I want this expedition to encourage men to book a check-up with their GP.'
The Honda Over The Top Expedition has attracted significant support from the boating and marine community including Honda Australia, Toll Energy Logistics, Bailey Marine Fuels, Jet Torque Marine, Furuno Australia, BLA, The Hub Marketing Communications and Sandman PR.
The Expedition aims to raise $200,000 for Cancer Council Australia for research into effective prostate cancer detection and treatment.
To donate or buy a book of tickets and follow the Jenkins' quest, visit www.overthetop.com.au