Manly Inflatable Boat Race

Things to do, Sports
Competitors taking part in the Manly Inflatable Boat Race
Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

You're sure to be pumped for this wet and wild blow-up boat race on the North Shore

Both Shelly and Manly Beaches will be overrun with inflatable swans, blow up thongs and all manner of colourful dingies on February 23 for this annual floaty ocean race. Now in its 16th year, competitors will once again to take to the water aboard their blow-up vessels for a one-kilometre sprint from the shore towards the watery horizon.

This madcap splash will kick off at 10.30am in the calm waters at Shelly Beach, but racers will need to register before they can add their blow-up boat to this whacky regatta by South Steyne Promenade.

Racers are encouraged to dress up (the sillier the better), and there’ll be prizes on offer for the most LOL-worthy team, craziest boat and best fancy dress, as well as awards for those first and last over the line. The prize-giving takes place at the Hotel Steyne following the race, where there will also be a true blue sausage sizzle, another annual tradition of race day. 

The race was named the ‘Community Event of the Year’ at the 2016 Manly Australia Day Awards, and has to date raised over $220,000 for charity over the 16 years its been running. This year the money will go to Tour De Cure – Riding to Cure Cancer, which has raised over $32 million for cancer research. Standard adult entry can be purchased on the day for $60, but early bird tickets will only set you back $45. So, get yourself a seaworthy craft (or a not-so-seaworthy one) and have a paddle for a good cause.


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