CLASSIC PADDLE: Competitors will tackle a gruelling 22km course.
CLASSIC PADDLE: Competitors will tackle a gruelling 22km course. Contributed

Gruelling paddle ahead for Tumbulgum Tweed Classic

A SEA of paddlers will flood the Tweed Valley river system this Sunday for the inaugural Tumbulgum Tweed Classic.

The gruelling 22-kilometre marathon paddling event will see dozens of competitive paddlers fight it out for prizes.

Event director and Currumbin Creek Paddlers Club treasurer Grant Epple said he was expecting a strong fleet of racers.

“We’re expecting some top-grade paddlers and we’re expecting those top paddlers to finish it in around just on two hours,” Epple said.

“Kayaks are the expected fleet but you can race anything you can paddle, so a full range of competitive vessels.”

Currumbin Creek Paddlers Club is expecting a good turnout after the success of other events the club has run in the past.

“We’ve put the word out and, if we get 50 to 60 paddlers, I’d be happy, with 90 to 100 I’d be ecstatic, so somewhere in between (would be good),” Epple said.

Competitors will start at Tumbulgum, before heading upstream towards Murwillumbah and right into Myall Creek.

The fleet will continue to the junction of the Rous River, then downstream to the Tweed River, before finishing back at Tumbulgum.

The scenic shoreline will complement the unique river system, which Epple said was perfect for this kind of racing.

“The waterways are perfect for the event, the course is triangular, and the river is wide enough to paddle 50 boats across,” Epple said.

The gruelling conditions are expected to be aided by the river system’s tidal flow, with an incoming tide aiding the start and an outgoing tide providing a lift on the return leg.

There will be three racing classes with prizes on offer for winners.

A major random draw prize of a four-night houseboat hire from Berger House Boats will also be up for grabs.

Epple said if the event was well received, it could become an annual fixture in the paddling calendar.

“If successful, we hope to make it an annual event,” he said.

“Destination Tweed will be including the event in their calendar for 2016.

“At this stage the weather forecast is great, so it should be a good day for paddling.”

Registration at 6am, with competition from 8am.

Details: www.currumbincreek. canoe.org.au.



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