Thousands of beach goers took to the Australian shores on Saturday to set new records in the annual Havaianas Thong Challenge – but Cyclone Oswald forced Mooloolaba to pull out.
WA’s Cottesloe beach smashed the competition, with 2,093 bathers taking to the sea on the inflatable thongs (pictured).
But the event at Queensland’s Mooloolaba beach had to be cancelled the day before it was due to kick off, due to the cyclone conditions the state experienced over the weekend. It was the second year in a row that adverse weather has forced the event to be cancelled at Mooloolaba.
The event did go ahead at four popular Aussie beaches: Bondi in NSW, Torquay in Victoria, Glenelg in South Australia and Cottesloe in West Australia.
Bondi was hot on Cottesloe’s heels, with 2,070 people taking part. Torquay attracted 1,053 participants, and 448 people took part in Glenelg.
That means a total of 5,664 people took part – beating last year's numbers. In 2012, 5,226 people took to the inflatable thongs, and in 2011 (when the event in Mooloolaba was not called off due to adverse weather) there were a total of 6,810 participants.
The event is staged by experiential agency Urban.
Urban co-founder Gavin McDonough said: “There are not many people you meet who do not know about the Thong Challenge, or know someone who has participated in it, which is a powerful litmus test for any experiential marketing campaign.”