The Smile Like Drake World's Biggest Paddle Out

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Up to 2000 surfers will participate in the World’s Biggest Paddle Out off Manly and Shelley Beach on Sunday, March 16 to celebrate the life of Christopher Drake and raise funds for the SMILE LIKE DRAKE Foundation.

Christopher Drake, a 23 year old law student, was swept off North Curl Curl rock pool on March 16 last year, and the World’s Biggest Paddle Out will mark his first anniversary.

The World’s Biggest Paddle Out is the highlight event of a weekend of celebration of Christopher’s extraordinary life, and the warm, positive and generous personality that was his hallmark.

The Paddle Out, open to all members of the community, will take place at 8:30am and participants and volunteers can register at http://smilelikedrake.org/event/worlds-biggest-paddle/

Christopher’s popularity and broad smile sparked the SMILE LIKE DRAKE social media movement last year, and has now been officially registered as a charitable organisation to raise funds for the research and development of new, innovative water safety devices, educational programs, trauma and counselling services and black spot identification for all waterways, swimming pools and beaches.

“My husband Trevor, our daughter Tiffany and I want the World’s Biggest Paddle Out to be a positive community event celebrating Christopher’s life and help the SMILE LIKE DRAKE Foundation raise monies to make the water safer for all users,” said Christopher’s mother, Nicolle Drake.

“We are encouraging individuals, families and children to grab a surfboard, or any other board, and paddle out off Manly and Shelly Beach to form the world’s biggest paddle out circle. There will be a special SMILE LIKE DRAKE sausage sizzle at the Steyne Hotel afterwards,” Nicolle added.

“There will also be a two day photo exhibition, on Saturday and Sunday March 15 and 16 at the Berrins, adjacent to Manly Wharf, of Christopher’s memorial paddle out from March 28 last year. This will include aerial and professional photographs shown for the first time, and they will be available for purchase. This will be followed by the inaugural screening of the memorial paddle out film at the Steyne Hotel between 5pm and 9pm on March 15 where hundreds of people came together to farewell  Chris”

Since it was launched last year, the SMILE LIKE DRAKE Foundation has developed a number of water safety devices which are in the final stages of development and ready for trial.

“We are very excited about the visionary equipment the Foundation is developing. All proceeds from the weekend’s activities will assist accelerate this work and help saves lives,” said Nicolle.

More information is available at www.smilelikedrake.org.

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