FAMILIES, sporting teams, work colleagues and individuals - Paddlefest will welcome all-comers when it splashes down on Lake Macquarie on Sunday, March 3.
Outriggers, dragon boats, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and even Scout-made boats will be in action.
Speers Point Park is the venue for Paddlefest, a day of entertaining aquatic activities organised by Toronto Sunrise Rotary Club.
Event director Pam Dean-Jones said while fun was the name of the game, there was a serious side, too.
"In 2018, $18,450 was donated by the event to local charities, including $10,000 to Hunter Melanoma Foundation," Ms Dean-Jones said.
"This year, we'll be making donations to the Cancer Council for their Enrich program, which helps cancer survivors to get back into life once they return home after treatment, and to the Samaritans to support vulnerable local families."
Paddlefest had donated about $180,000 to local charities in its 13-year history, she said.
That money comes largely from entry fees, so more entries are encouraged.
This creation is then wrapped in heavy duty builder’s black plastic sheets secured by cling wrap.- Pam Dean-Jones
The outriggers and dragon boats are always a highlight. And with the racing action so close to the shore, it's great viewing for spectators, too.
Other events, featuring the kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, will see competitors venture out to Cockle Bay and around Five Islands.
Ms Dean-Jones said the Scouts dragon boat race was always a spectacle.
"Some 200 Scouts will construct dragon boats using bamboo stringers secured to a series of bakery bread delivery crates lashed to two side-by-side milk crates to form a seat," she said.
"This creation is then wrapped in heavy duty builder’s black plastic sheets secured by cling wrap."
Two historic St Ayles skiffs, one from Victoria and another built by Lake Macquarie Classic Boat Association, will also race.
Paddlefest is a highlight and culmination of Lakefest, a two-week festival of events on and around Lake Macquarie.
The first event of the day will start at 8am. The action continues until mid-afternoon.
- Entry forms and more details are at paddlefest.com.au