Paddle event attracts hundreds

THE sun was shining last Sunday morning as 667 paddlers gathered at Heritage Park for this year’s Mullum2Bruns Paddle – nearly 300 more entrants than last year’s inaugural event.

There was no shortage of competitive spirit thanks to a colourful fleet of kayaks, canoes, surf skis, rowboats and stand-up paddleboards vying for $9000 in prizes.

"It was a much smoother start this year thanks to improved traffic control at Brunswick Terrace," event co-ordinator Penny Fuller said.

"Online registrations also helped streamline the process."

Five rescue boats patrolled the 10-kilometre course as paddlers made their way towards the mouth of the Brunswick River.

"Brunswick Surf Club members, Volunteer Marine Rescue Boat Crew and SES in their new flood boat did a brilliant job keeping everyone safe," Penny said.

Kurt Tutt was first over the line in the Tursa Open Paddle Challenge men’s division – his second win in as many years – while Lynwen Birch nabbed top place in the female category.

The Bruns Soundshell proved a popular meeting place as 42 local musicians, including Brandolinis, Alice Blue and Ilona Harker, donated their time to keep the crowd entertained.

Kids were enthralled with the worm obstacle course, while community barbecues and stalls ensured post-paddle appetites were sated.

With the estimated $12,000 raised from the event split between % Brunswick Visitor Centre, Brunswick Volunteer Marine Rescue and Brunswick Surf Club, plans are already under way for next year’s paddle.

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