Pad­dle power

The Cobram Courier - - FRONT PAGE -

Par­tic­i­pants in the Mas­sive Mur­ray Pad­dle make their way down the river af­ter stop­ping at Thomp­sons Beach on Mon­day af­ter­noon.

Pad­dlers made a pit stop at Thomp­sons Beach in Co­bram as they made their way to Tocumwal on Mon­day.

Hun­dreds of peo­ple, tak­ing part in the Mas­sive Mur­ray Pad­dle, for­merly the Mur­ray Marathon, stopped for a break, af­ter set­ting off from Yar­ra­wonga.

In to­tal, 550 pad­dlers and 800 crew mem­bers are mak­ing their way down the Mur­ray River, fin­ish­ing in Swan Hill on Fri­day.

The 404 km event has fol­lowed the same course for 50 years and has been one of the great longdis­tance pad­dling races in the world, at­tract­ing keen pad­dlers, mostly from Aus­tralia, but more and more in­ter­na­tional pad­dlers each year.

The great race has al­ways been a strong way to raise money for the com­mu­nity. For the past three years, un­der new own­er­ship, par­tic­i­pants can choose a com­mu­nity ser­vice or char­ity to give to.

That strat­egy has helped raise nearly $300 000 in the past two years, with the to­tal this year es­ti­mated to be about $250 000 for mostly re­gional ser­vices.

The event’s own­ers, Shan­non and Kate O’Brien from Syd­ney Har­bour Kayaks and Mi­rage Sea Kayaks, are spe­cial­ists in the Aus­tralian pad­dle sports in­dus­try, with a wide reach to at­tract many pad­dlers.

Dur­ing the past two years, the Mas­sive Mur­ray Pad­dle has con­tributed more than $1 mil­lion to lo­cal economies along the Mur­ray River.

Stopover: Thomp­sons Beach was a hive of ac­tiv­ity as par­tic­i­pants in the Mas­sive Mur­ray Pad­dle made a pit stop.

Solo: This gen­tle­men was a pic­ture of con­cen­tra­tion as he headed for Tocumwal.

Break: Pad­dlers were happy to see the sand at Thomp­sons Beach and rest up af­ter a gru­elling leg from Yar­ra­wonga.

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