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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 August 2006, 10:16 GMT 11:16 UK
Skateboarder starts huge Oz trek
Dave Cornthwaite (picture courtesy of Holly Allen)
All aboard: Dave Cornthwaite kisses the start line as he sets off
A Welshman has begun an attempt to become the first person to skateboard across Australia.

Dave Cornthwaite, from Swansea, is hoping to break the world record for long-distance skateboarding with a journey of 4,000 miles (6,437km).

He set off from Perth on Sunday on a journey which will take him through hundreds of miles of scorching desert.

Dave, 26, who is raising money for three children's charities, believes it will take four months to complete.

He took up skateboarding only in March 2005 but soon gave up his graphic designing job because he loved it so much.

"I wasn't very happy with my job and I thought, why not make something of my life?" he said.

Dave Cornthwaite (picture by Holly Allen)
I plan to do most of the skating in the early morning because it will be far too hot during the day to do anything
Dave Cornthwaite

In June, he notched up his first record when he skated 900 miles (1,448km) the length of the UK from John O'Groats to Land's End.

But he said that was "just a warm-up" for his marathon Down Under.

To become the record holder, he will have to beat the current mark of 3,000 miles (4,828 km).

Barren road

He set off from Perth in Western Australia and will travel along a barren stretch of road across the Nullarbor plain to South Australia.

From Adelaide he will go to Melbourne, along the coast and north to Sydney.

He hopes to travel about 30 miles (50km) a day, and to cross the finishing line in Brisbane in late December.

Dave said: "I know from the UK journey that it's going to be punishing both physically and mentally but I am determined to do it."

He foresees that the main problem will be the heat.

"I plan to do most of the skating in the early morning because it will be far too hot during the day to do anything," he said.

He will be accompanied on his challenge by a support team of seven.

Skateboarder's Down Under attempt
13 Aug 06 |  South West Wales
Skateboader's cross-Britain feat
01 Jun 06 |  South West Wales
Skateboarder hits the road south
02 May 06 |  Highlands and Islands

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