Crowd throngs with 802 thongs
MOOLOOLABA Beach was overrun by giant gold inflatable thongs yesterday as Coast residents made an attempt at a world record.
Hundreds of people of all ages braved the hot sand with novelty Havaiana thongs in hand to file into the water and form an impressive line in the ocean, much to the delight of thousands of beachgoers.
Among the people enjoying the 10th annual Havaianas Australia Day Thong Challenge were past participants Kayla Mateer, 14, and Charlotte Cottier, 18.
The Peregian Springs girls were there for their third and second attempts respectively and said the electric atmosphere and array of organised activities had kept them coming back for more.
While the sea of gold thongs was a spectacle to behold, Mooloolaba only gained an extra 18 registrations on last year, with 802 participants this year.
This placed us third in the country with Cottesloe in Western Australia boosting their record to 2210, followed by Torquay in Victoria with 1056 and Glenelg in South Australia with 291.
North Bondi in New South Wales would have come in second place with 2100 registrations, but the event was cancelled.
The real winners of the event are the Mooloolaba Surf Lifesaving Nippers, who receive $10 from each registration. More than $334,000 has been raised over the past nine years for the Nippers clubs at participating beaches.
Queensland ambassador TV presenter Natalie Gruzlewski said the event was the quintessential way to celebrate Australia Day.