Just swimmingly, that’s how organisers described Saturday’s Moruya River Swim and Paddle, a fundraising event to install renewable energy at Moruya and Broulee Surfers Surf Life Saving Clubs.
“The water might have been cold but the community effort was not. It was red hot. We had higher than expected participation with over 120 entrants, 16 teams and very generous sponsorship of nearly $12000 (and rising) – it really was a terrific community activity” said Dr Tim Shepherd of Moruya Surf Life Saving Club.
Some particularly hardy swimmers, led by Clean Energy for Eternity’s founder Matthew Nott, started at 8.20 am at the Moruya River mouth and swam the whole 6.8km to the town wharf. Sascha Saharov of Mossy Point fairly skimmed along completing the tide assisted course in 1 hour 28 minutes.
A dragon boat, two surf boats, a canoe paddled by a bride and bridesmaid, a surf ski piloted by a dog along with some reasonably normal paddlers began the 1.5km paddle from the Silo at 9.30am. Pace setters included Dennis Pont in his spider infested kayak, Karen and Tony Hackett in their double kayak and Chris Nicholson on his board.
The main swim started at 10am with Guy Tresize leading the way to the town wharf.
Entrants were warmed with hot drinks and food from Rotary once they crossed the line while MC Greg Malavey kept the crowd of spectators entertained with his gentle bagging of the better known participants, referring at one stage to a local doctor’s family as a “herd of wet shepherds”.
The Thomas Family Awesome Foursome won the prize for the team with the most sponsorship with Gordon Hughes and Ali Simmons collecting the individual awards. Lucky draw participation prizes went to Ann Herbert, Anna Simmons, Combined Elements and Michael Overend.
“Our community showed that it cares about climate change” said Gabi Harding of Clean Energy for Eternity which joined the surf clubs in organizing the event. . “Our aim is to install renewable energy in all surf clubs in the Shire and send an important message to the wider community about the need to address climate change. The Federal Government and the Eurobodalla Shire have promised funding assistance but it all depends on solid community support and Saturday showed that we’ve got it.”
The organisers are hoping that late sponsorship donations will augment the funds raised to the target of $15000. Gabi Harding can be contacted on ph 44744318 for sponsorship details.
Major sponsors for the event included: Dallas Smart, Moruya Mowers and Chainsaws, Whistler Radiology, Ian Russell Toyota, All Things Garden, Moruya Gallery and Gifts, Vulcan Street Pharmacy, Ballards Pharmacy, Adelaide Hotel, Air Raid Hotel, Monarch Hotel, Mordek, Waterfront Hotel, Marie McNeil, Broulee Supermarket, Queen Street Medical Centre, Les Roberts-Thomson, Batemans Bay Carwash, Camerons Timber and Hardware, Rick and Ros Rossiter, Batemans Bay First National Bank, Husband Plumbing, & Catalina Country club
Major supporters included: Rotary, St John Ambulance, Moruya River Boat Shed, Marshalls Bus Company, Bay Post/Moruya Examiner, Rex Airlines, 2EC/Power FM, ABC South East radio, Southlands Fruit and Vegetables, Eurobodalla Botanic Gardens & Tomakin General Store.