Having already taken the canoes on a few trips to the local dams and lakes, and explored the unexplored rivers of Central Java, it was time to step things up. With months of planning beforehand,
eventually on 27 February 2011 the first ever ‘Gunungan Charity Boat Race' was held on the mighty Bengawan Solo River.
The main purpose of the race was to introduce more people to the work of the organisation and hopefully raise some additional funds for the Children's Refuge.
We also hoped to bring attention to the under utilization of the Bengawan Solo river and the opportunity it offers for many water sports and activities,
as well as bring attention to the terribly polluted condition of all the rivers around Solo.
February being towards the end of the rainy season meant the river was flowing fast and high, perfect conditions for the 4.5 km race.
Spectators turned out in their thousands, lining each side of the river from start to finish and as the races started,
the crowds were shouting: “Dayung! - Dayung! - Dayung!” (Paddle! - Paddle! - Paddle!)