There are Regattas and There Are Regattas

Regattas come in very many different shapes and sizes.  From Super Yachts racing off Porto Cervo to Rowing Boats at Henley on Thames, they all offer fun excitement and an opportunity to socialise and have fun.
Most also include water as a vital ingredient.  We say most because we have just found one where the absence of water explains why the regatta is so much fun
The Henley-On-Todd Regatta, with a typically Aussie reference to Henly-on-Thames, stages its own regatta where competitors race boats by carrying them down the dry river Todd.
And while the UK event is one of pomp and tradition, this even is anything but.
During the day 20 boating events are normally held including :
  • Anchor the Boat: A tug of war competition between 8-person teams. 
  • Bathtub Derby: Four people carry a fifth in a tub. When they reach the halfway point, a bucket of water is dumped on the person in the tub (adding more weight), then the team races back to the starting point. 
  • Boogie Board: Teams of four pull a fifth teammate sitting on a boogie board across the sandy bed to the finish line.
  • Bring Your Own Boat: The most creative of the races, teams of four assemble their own craft, that must look like a boat, holding it up as they race.
  • Oxford Tubs: One of the more challenging events, tin boats with 2-man crews are propelled along rails by members paddling with shovels in the sand.

This unique, mad-cap event, had its inaugural regatta in December 1962.
Earlier that year members of the Rotary Club of Alice Springs met for a picnic at 16 Mile Creek, where over a few beers they discussed ways to raise money for charity. Reg came up with the idea of holding a waterless ‘Regatta’ on the dry bed of the Todd River.
“Okay, what about the boats – do we tow them or push them?”

“Neither,” said Reg. “We cut the bottoms out and carry them!”
Nothing else need be recorded here!

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