The humble mullet is revered in some quarters for its flavour and in others for its ‘throwability’.
In the US a venerable tradition is the Flora-Bama Mullet Toss, where punters queue at a local beach to fling the fish across the Florida-Alabama state borderline.
Closer to home, the Ocean Shores Australia Day World Mullet Throwing Championship is also attracting international attention, with spokesperson Jill Spring expecting competitors from the UK and USA as well as tossers from closer to home.
Natasha Nozdrina of Ivanavo, Russia took home the women’s trophy in 2012 and will be following the results with interest.
Even Australia Day Ambassador mathematician and university lecturer Dr Clio Cresswell has been invited to try out her skill at mullet throwing.
But, locally at least, the slippery, scaly seafood icon has given way to a fantastic plastic version.
In fact the OS model mullets are made of industrial grade 12mm thick rubber and come in two sizes: senior 450 mm long and junior 300 mm.
‘The new model mullets are ready. A practice session was held last Saturday, and the distances achieved very credible. We don’t expect locals to give ground easily to out of town competitors,’ Ms Spring said.
‘To offset any perceived advantage, we are offering a practice session on Australia Day from 2pm, before the start of competition at 3pm,’ she added.
The Ocean Shores Community Association (OSCA) has been running the event since 2007 to celebrate the remarkable mullet fish found in the estuary and lakes of Ocean Shores and area.
‘Being a coastal area with many creeks and lakes closely connected to the ocean, mullet can be seen leaping out of the water, especially when the paperbarks are in flower,’ Ms Spring said.
‘Large mullets have been reported leaping from the water in long runs of four or five leaps. No one seems to know the reason for this behaviour, perhaps just sheer exuberance on the part of this marvellous fish. It provides very good eating as well, and is high in Omega 3 essential oils.’
The competition on Australia Day (Tuesday, January 26) is at the Ocean Shores Public School Shara Boulevarde Ocean Shores North from 3pm.
Trophies will be awarded for multiple categories: Preschool (under 5 years); Girls and Boys under 10; Girls and Boys 10 to 15; Senior Women and Senior Men.
There will be a traditional sausage sizzle, giant lamington and an Aussie Singalong. Music entertainment is provided by popular Ocean Shores’ locals Rainer Eichhorn, Morris Cronin and Kim Banffy.