More than 110 boats, 400 paddlers and 700 support crews launched their boats on Monday morning to take on Australia’s longest river challenge, the Massive Murray Paddle.
Originating in 1969, the event now in its 49th year, was previously known as the Murray Marathon and is one of the world’s longest paddling races covering a distance of 404km over five days from Yarrawonga to Swan Hill.
Local CWA team “Chicks with Attitude” are competing in their 13th marathon with the majority of the paddlers coming from the local area.
Ranging in ages from 40 through to 83 the team this year includes local paddlers Adele Church and Racheal Seccull. Adele has paddled in an all 13 marathons.
This year’s event also features two Americans from Michigan paddling a double racing canoe, three long distance Stand-Up Paddle boarders from the UK and the famous ‘Blues & Brothers’ team, now called Dungulayin Mileka. They are in their 15th year of paddling in the event and have 120 paddlers mixed with Local Police officers and ‘at risk’ Indigenous children representing many regional Victorian areas.
Last year all paddler fundraised over $100,000 for local community services or charities.
Red Cross managed the event for decades before YMCA who then handed the running of the event after six years to new managers and two of Australia’s leading paddle sports businesses, Mirage Sea Kayaks and Sydney Harbour Kayaks (SHK) in 2016.