Hundreds of surfers have attempted to break the “paddle out” world record on the NSW south coast.
About 680 people paddled into the waves on Saturday, well above the record of 511 people set in California in 2017. It will need to be registered with Guinness World Records before being made official.
The paddle-out was part of a protest to stop a development near the Killalea National Surf Reserve, and the adjoining state park south of Wollongong.
The protesters say Killalea’s managers, Reflections Holiday Parks, want to build a 200 seat conference centre, restaurant and eco-cabin facility.
“The people that are managing this place are driven by profit,” Surfrider Foundation founder Brad Farmer said.
“The state reserves are open places. They are not to be grabbed and used by the privileged few.”
He said NSW beaches were being increasingly commercialised, with developments at Crescent Head, Byron Bay, and a proposal for a private beach club at Bondi.
The chair of the Killalea national surfing reserve committee, Chris Homer, said the state park should be run by a community-based trust.
Shellharbour City Council gave conditional support for the Killalea development project in 2018.