One of the most highly anticipated events of the Wagga calendar arrived on Sunday, bringing with it plenty of fierce competition and fun for all.
The 2018 Gumi World Championship Race drew a crowd of hundreds down to Wagga Beach, where about 150 people battled it out in five separate races for the title of world champion.
President of the South Wagga Apex Club Andrew Roberts said the conditions were perfect for race day.
“It's the most perfect day you can get for Gumi really – we've got a good amount of flow in the water, and the water temperature is a bit warmer than it has been recently,” Mr Roberts said.
“We've already had 30 craft come through, we've had kids going crazy on the slippery dip, we've got people sitting around and enjoying the great raft designs, we've got people sitting back enjoying a few drinks and something to eat, so it's been a really good day.
“We haven't had any mishaps – we've had a couple of capsized vessels, but everyone's wearing the right life jackets, so it just goes to show that, if you take the right measures, you can use the river well and enjoy it.”
While most of the day’s rivalries were friendly, Mr Roberts said there was still plenty of feuding within the defence force’s ranks, as per usual.
“It's usually a good showing from the defence force personnel, and there's a huge amount of banter between them – the air force won, they just flew home, second was the army, and 20 minutes later the navy still haven’t appeared, which is a bit ironic,” he said.
Apex club member Josh Paul, who had the MC duties on the day, said the Gumi gave them a good opportunity to give back to some local charities through a hotly contested raffle.
“The best thing about it is the money we raised today doesn't just go to one charity – we spread it across the whole community throughout the year and give back to almost all the charities within Wagga,” Mr Paul said.
“There were some great prizes up for grabs in our raffle – we had a fully-signed GWS guernsey that was kindly donated by AFL NSW, we've got a Borambola winery pack, and then we have a $100 voucher for the Charles Sturt roundabout restaurant.”