Story of travel and despair told at cracking pace
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 29 July, 2014 - Fresh-faced, good looking and verbose, Ben Robinson had always dreamed of immersing himself in other cultures and meeting people from all walks of life – he tells us so in a monologue one sunny afternoon in a cow paddock near his home in rural western Sydney.
Two years later, a hairy, crazed, angry Ben Robinson addresses the camera from a cliff top in Indonesia - “You meet all kinds of people in the Indonesian surf…and I hate every one of them.”
What leads to that ultimate transformation is the story of 3mates7seas. The footage, shot by the charac-ters on their real life journey, was relegated to a shelf as depression and life took over. Packaged now with animation and humorous hindsight, their story is brought to an audience at a cracking pace, and with a world map to keep track.
Ben was convinced he was capable of anything (motivated by self-help books) so he figured he would simply inspire the next generation out of the clutches of a youth suicide epidemic that he’d heard about when studying teaching. Impulsively, he registered Surfers Against Youth Suicide (SAYS) and set out to re-cruit an army of helpers from ‘FIFTY of his closest friends’. In the end, TWO boys raised their hands.
SAYS became Ben, Danny and Howie. They were a mixed bag who conceived, with youthful grandiosity, that they would surf the 7 seas of the world and use their journey to inspire younger versions of them-selves to reach for their dreams. (NB. Their surfing skills ranged from average to below average.)
Together these three modern day musketeers came up with a 5 point plan for success and spruiked it to thousands of Australian high school students on their ‘Catching the Wave of Your Dreams School Speaking Tour’. They surfed around the country as they went, and the students in rural and regional areas totally bought it.
The 5 point plan: 1. Dream Big 2. Have a Plan 3. Set Achievable Goals 4. Stay Positive 5. Stay Motivated During Difficult Times
Should have provided them the tools to make their international journey a resounding success… It pro-vides perfect irony when juxtaposed with their unrealistic approach to every aspect of the trip.
As life on the road set in, the unpredictability – correction – constant disappointment of extremely poor surfing conditions was hard to take, but was it also the least of their worries. When accidents, illness and virtual poverty became the rule rather than the exception, not only was their motivation to finish at stake, but their sanity, safety and friendships were pushed to breaking point.
Eventually having set foot in over 30 countries, and with a surprising semblance of success at journey’s end, they somehow managed to prove it really is better to choose life – at least it will take you to unex-pected places. They had even shown that if you persevere, anything is possible. Luckily, somehow, they were able to keep laughing, AND most importantly, they brought it all home on tape.
"3mates7seas" Australian Documentary Premieres at Oceanside International Film Festival on the fourth of August 2014 from 6.00pm (USA WST time