Paddle aces hit Casuarina

OME of the world's top pro paddle-boarders will battle out Australia's longest and richest paddleboard race at the 4th annual Casuarina Festival this weekend.

The festival will showcase the full range of ocean surfing events including the paddleboard race, women's, longboard and aerial surfing, plus a program of junior competition designed to nurture the next generation of surfers in the Northern Rivers region.

But attention on Saturday will focus on the 28-kilometre Waterman Challenge paddleboard race from Casuarina, around Cook Island and return.

Reigning world paddleboard champion, Australia's Jamie Mitchell and former multiple world champion Mick Di Betta will team up to fend off California's Tim Ritter and James Pritzk, and Hawaii's Chris Owens and George Ramos to contest the race.

This year the event, with prizemoney of $8500, will follow a team format of two paddlers per board, with one paddling and one resting in a support craft. After an initial set opening period, the paddlers can change at any time.