Pindimar Easter Raft Races a Hit Again

The Egg Hunt started first, and some of the kids are still out there, searching.

‘ANYTHING that floats’ was the challenge, taken up with passion and zeal upon the waters of South Pindimar on Easter Sunday, 31 March.

Waiting for the tide to slowly, but surely, flow in, the army of kids took off towards the mangroves on the annual Easter egg hunt, and some are still going.

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After hearing from special guest Peter Rogers from the Jimmys Beach Aquatic Club (JBAC), two boats of which had rowed over from their home launch, the kids’ tug’o’war competition was held, with a victory to the boys’ team, although a lot of help was had on both sides.

The adults tug’o’war was a hotly contested affair, but, ultimately, the winning Tug’O’Warriors team prevailed, leaving the other side scrabbling in the sand, and the coveted prize of Ultimate Glory to the winners.

Under the watchful eye of the osprey atop the big pine tree on South Pindimar beach, several feats of glory and ingenuity were attempted and achieved upon Port Stephens’ waters when the fleet of rafts took off.

Traversing a triangular buoy-marked circuit, the race descended into utter chaos within seconds of officially starting, as many makeshift rafts failed to perform their fundamental floating function, and most crews ended up getting out and pushing.

Waves rippling in the wake of a passing motorboat upon the bay did not make life any easier for the seafarers.

First prize, ‘inflatable category’, went to Gigi in her winged unicorn steed, while second went to a truly novel pirate raft, ‘MV My Oyster’, made from construction materials, and the only one to actually paddle the whole way.

Third prize was awarded as much for authenticity as for pity, to the raft hastily composed of foam tubes, bottles and stubby holders, many of which scattered from its wake en route.

After the race, a free sausage sizzle was served by Kim and Mark Hill, catered by the Pindimar Bundabah Community Association, while JBAC crew ferries several kids around the bay in their big, professional rowboats.

“All raffle ticket money today goes straight to the PBCA, to assist in projects related to the Community Hall and our emergency planning,” PBCA President Vivien Panhuber told NOTA.

“We’ve broken a crowd record, it seems to get bigger each year, and will definitely happen again next Easter.”

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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