Long before the gumi race fell on misfortune in the past three years, it was an event that almost boasted to be bigger than Christmas.
During its inaugural year, in March 1976, just 16 homemade rafts braved the waters. At that time, it was hosted by the Wagga Lions Club, who used it as a way to fundraise.
As the story goes, the idea for the race was sparked by a club member's trip to New Guinea, where races of this style were common.
The name for the race, 'gumi', as most know, is said to have derived from the pigeon English word for 'rubber'.
From its humble beginnings, it grew exponentially.
A letter from the 1986 Gumi Race claims a "record field of 1015 gumis took part" in the gumi race in February 1985.
This included "more than 4000 competitors" and a "crowd estimated to be in excess of 30,000 watched the race", the letter goes on to say.
When it was revived in 2011 by the Apex Club, 110 gumis took the voyage, at it was growing steadily until low water levels forced its cancellation again in 2019 and 2020.
This year's event, unfortunately, has fallen victim to the pandemic and will not be going ahead.
In its early days, the race was far longer than it has been in recent years, extending from Eunony Bridge to the Wiradjuri Reserve instead of ending at the beach.
Competitors entered one of eight separate categories: The junior single, junior team, women's team, single event, Gumi team, business team and service club event.
There was also a prize for the best-decorated gumi on the day.
Very few rules governed the event during its first iteration. Each gumi had to be homemade and human propelled with at least 80 per cent of its flotation aided through inflated tubes. But that's about all the stipulations.
In 1980, the race was combined with a week-long festival and its enduring legacy continues to extend across the world.
The festival included cabaret balls, street parades, open-air concerts, live theatre and the Gumi Aquathon.
The water events also included the Buck A Duck competition, where patrons would pay one dollar for a rubber duck that would be floated down the Murrumbidgee in a race of its own kind.
That tradition has, at least, been revived somewhat in the past two years.
An international relationship was established in 1981 when the tourist promotion department of Los Angeles, USA proposed connecting the Gumi Festival with the Minneapolis Aquatennial Association.
For several years thereafter, representatives from the USA attended the event in Wagga.
In 1983, the Gumi Festival Committee struck up another USA link with the Folkfest Festival of Bismark, North Dakota, where the inaugural Gumi Race of America was held.
The winners of the Bismark race were flown to Wagga to compete, and so the World Championship Gumi Race was minted.
Also in 1983, delegates came from Hamilton, New Zealand to watch the Gumi festival in the hopes of returning home to create their own event.
Sadly, the original race was abandoned in 1995, leaving the community, no doubt, deflated.