Perfect day for paddle fundraiser
MORE than 1000 paddlers dressed in costume and colourful wigs crowded the riverbank at Heritage Park in Mullumbimby yesterday to paddle to Brunswick Heads for charity.
This year's Mullum 2 Bruns Paddle fundraiser celebrated its 10th anniversary, encouraging paddle boards and boats to glide down the river.
Nichole Watson, a member of the Gold Coast Dragons, attended the event with her team of 18 who have raced in their dragonboat for the last five years. "We have a conglomerate of paddlers today, this particular boat is the Gold Coast Dragons boat but we also have paddlers from Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast and from Burleigh Fire Dragons to participate,” Ms Watson said.
"The whole community comes together and we get to share this amazing event with all these other watercraft,” she said.
"It was a gorgeous day and we paddled well together. There was a lot of negotiating the waterway with lots of different people on stand-up paddles and little canoes, so that was a lot of fun. It's been a tremendous event, can't wait for next year.”
Funds raised will be split three ways between Marine Rescue, the surf life saving club and the Brunswick Heads Visitor Centre.
Linda Hibbard from Byron Bay Eco Cruises & Kayaks said the event has grown 'unbelievably so' with the human powered dragon boats drawing people from all over Australia.
"They come from far and wide, they love the event and they always go all out, getting dressed up and really enjoying the occasion... as well as the competitive aspects.
"The first year the registration was about 250 and now it's over a thousand, it's now recognised as the largest paddle race in Australia.
"A lot of hard work by a lot of people volunteering.”
The event started in Mullumbimby at 9.30am and finished near the scout hall in Brunswick Heads at noon.
"There are a number of categories to enter for those who like to paddle fast, those who like to paddle for fun and those who paddle dragon boats,” Ms Hibbard said.
Family fun activities started at The Terrace Park in Brunswick Heads from 10am.