AHOY: The Brandy Creek Bandits Scurvy Scotty and Pirate Paul paddled their way to victory at the Whitsunday Reef Festival Recyclable Regatta on Sunday afternoon.
AHOY: The Brandy Creek Bandits Scurvy Scotty and Pirate Paul paddled their way to victory at the Whitsunday Reef Festival Recyclable Regatta on Sunday afternoon. Jessica Lamb

Reef recyclable regatta fun for all

NO material was off limits for the Recyclable Regatta at this year's Whitsunday Reef Festival on Sunday, as barrels, body boards and even a bathtub were converted into vessels to race for glory.

Five contestants took to the Whitsunday waters representing businesses, community groups and friends to see if their creations would float and paddle 20 metres out to a buoy and back to shore.

Dressing to the theme, the Brandy Creek Bandits made up of Scurvy Scotty and Pirate Paul led the whole race from the starters gun.

Spectators flocked to the Airlie Beach lagoon rock wall and beach to watch Jackson Norbury test out his muscles as he paddled a converted bathtub with Billy Hinton and Murphy Callaghan steering at the rear to finish second on the podium.

Nine-year-old pals Max Beale and Jet Oliver kicked ashore their "self floater” creation to pick up third.

Jolie Farley and Carys Ferguson on their creation "Salty Dog” looked to be in medal contention before requiring help from the lifeguards, just like the navy cadets team of Harmony Sanderson and Alora Thomas, who paddled valiantly without much success steering.

Like all good sports and using the unwritten Whitsunday Reef Festival maritime law, the racers who had finished swam back out to give a helping push and kick to those still paddling.

Not to be outdone, the Whitsunday Coast Life Saving members who kept a close eye on the race from paddle board around the course took to the starters blocks themselves.

Association top dog Calum Docherty proved his position and finished first.


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