THONG CHALLENGE PULLS PLUG
HAVAIANAS Australia has said ‘never say never’ when it comes to reviving its popular Australia Day Thong Challenge at Cottesloe Beach.
Last Wednesday, the Western Suburbs Weekly broke the news that the nationwide January 26 event had been cancelled.
In 2015, Cottesloe set the world record for the fourth year running with 2210 people taking to the water on giant inflatable flip-flops.
Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) president Ben Stephens said Havaianas Australia notified the club in September that the event’s 10th anniversary in 2015 was its last.
“They told us that they were refocusing their marketing and ending the thong challenge. f it does get revisited in some form in the future, we have the trophy here and we are willing to rise to the challenge again,” Mr Stephens said.
“This year we are looking at having a fundraiser barbecue on the beach. In due course we are hoping to build up another family-friendly event that focuses on water safety.”
One-third of the thong challenge registration fee was donated to local surf lifesaving clubs at the five participating beaches – North Bondi, Torquay, Glenelg, Mooloolaba and Cottesloe.
A Havaianas Australia spokeswoman said they would not rule out the possibility of relaunching the event in future years.
“We wanted to reach the impressive 10-year milestone before shaking things up and trying other new and exciting ways to collaborate with our fans,” she said.
“New activity is still being discussed internally, and Havaianas plan to continue supporting local surf life saving clubs in 2016 and beyond.”
Going for a thong: Crowds throng Havaianas Australia’s popular thong challenge at Cottesloe Beach.