WORLDKINGS - Worldkings News - Australia – Henley-on-todd regatta: The world's only dry river regatta


( Henley-on-todd regatta is the world's only dry river regatta.

The Henley-on-Todd Regatta (also called the Todd River Race) is a "boat" race held annually in the typically dry sandy bed of the Todd River in Alice Springs, Australia. 

It began – and continues – cautiously as a joke at the expense of the original British settlers and the formal atmosphere of the British river races which continue today.

Every year in the spring, around September, the town holds a mock regatta which large numbers of locals and tourists attend. Food and drink are sold at stalls, "no fishing" signs are put up, and the celebration takes all day. It is the only dry river regatta in the world; thus, it is the only regatta ever cancelled because of wet weather and there was actually water in the river.

This happened in 1993, when the event was cancelled for the year due to flooding. However, the Alice Springs Hash House Harriers and Katherine Hash House Harriers running groups put their boat entry into the water and completed the course under protest of the track officials. This was televised by ABC and shown around Australia on the nightly news.

"Boats" are made from metal frames and hung with banners and advertisements, and teams of "rowers" run their boats in races through the hot sand. Races are also held in washtubs, human-sized hamster wheels and at the final event, modified trucks decked out as boats are driven by teams armed with flour bombs and water cannon.

Many bystanders end up as casualties of the final battle. Traditional teams include Pirates and Vikings, complete with costumes. Who wins the final battle can be difficult to determine; even the announcers occasionally get a blast.

According to en.wikipedia

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