Paddling up the lazy river

Leigh Clough, Mike Jahn, Michael Hennessy prepare for the paddle.
Leigh Clough, Mike Jahn, Michael Hennessy prepare for the paddle. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

RAIN, wind and challenging tidal conditions didn't stop a record 930 participants taking part in the Mullum to Bruns Paddle yesterday.

Mullum to Bruns Paddle publicity officer Michele Dennis said people weren't disorientated by an incoming tide and less than favourable weather conditions.

"The competitive people really enjoyed the conditions because it was more of a challenge," she said.

Fun Paddle, Open Paddle and Stand Up Paddle entrants had to complete a 10km course from Heritage Park in Mullumbimby to Terrace Park in Brunswick Heads.

However, Extreme Challenge participants had to do the 10km course twice, which Ms Dennis said was much harder.

"A really unusual level of fitness is needed to finish that event in a competitive time because it's 20km and takes an hour and 20 minutes," she said.

"From a spectator's perspective, the Extreme Challenge was one of the best events of the day.

"They finished later in the day and the first five finished really close together," she said.

Yesterday, Ross and Kristie Shearer of Mullumbimby enjoyed a less competitive day on the river by paddling a five-seat canoe together with their three kids, Lucas, 7, Leo, 6, and Frankie, 2.

"It's the family component we like," Ms Shearer said.

"The kids were great, they just sat back and enjoyed the ride," Mr Shearer added.

Yesterday, the Best Dressed Craft category was won by Scottish enthusiasts who wore kilts and turned their canoe into a Loch-Ness monster.

After the paddle, participants were treated to live music and food in Terrace Park.

Topics:  michele dennis, mullum to bruns paddle, ross and kristie shearer



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