It’s an annual event which now attracts competition from around the country.

Paddlers enjoyed Mother’s Day out on the water for the Annual Macleay Island Classic.

Charlotte Tully reports.


Canoeists, young and old, gathered to compete in the 15 kilometre race around Macleay Island.

Fifty competitors took part in the event which started nine years ago.

Racers travelled from Coffs Harbour, Noosaville, the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

With barely a breath of wind and overcast skies, conditions looked promising for the paddle around the island.

Brad Hagan, Race Winner: “I think this is the best year it’s been as far as the wind goes. But it’s just really, it’s just a real good sort of safe race and nice, you know, really good scenery.”

Avid canoeist 82-year-old Digby Huffen was amongst those who crossed the finish line.

Digby Huffen, competitor: “Started in about 1980, so I’ve got a few years behind me.”

Having undergone a double hip replacement and a shoulder operation since the event’s inception, Mr Huffen has only missed one.

Tegan Fraser was the first woman across the line.

Tegan Fraser, Female winner: “We were in Victoria visiting friends and family for the weekend and thought we would definitely have to get back for this race so we caught the early flight out. Got back about 8’oclock, drove straight out here. Paddled across.”

The men’s second place winner says it was great way to spend Mother’s Day.

Matt O’Garey Men’s Second Place Winner: “Just good fun, great event on Mother’s day today, and a good thing for everybody to do.”

Both winners say they’ll be back next year.

Charlotte Tully, QUT News.