The Henley on Todd Regatta

October 5, 2007 Andy 0 Comments

Leaving Kakadu we figured that we could just about manage the 1300km to Alice Springs in two days if we really pushed it. The reason? To make the Henley on Todd Regatta. It was a mission of a drive and although 1300km may not sound that much, I can tell you it is in a 27 year old car (with only four gears) when you cannot drive in the dark (the risk of hitting a Kangaroo or Wallaby is just too high).

Sharing the driving we made it, but not before I made a nice modification to the front end of a Subaru Outback. Thankfully the zero excess insurance had that covered, 260 bucks well spent!

Not only did we make it, but we even managed to stop of and see “The Boulders” (they are good at this naming lark, the Aussies), a stunning collection of huge round red boulders precariously balanced pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Caused by the impressive effects of erosion some were split clean in half.

Alice Spring’s annual Regatta takes place on the river Todd with kayak racing, rowing, four man, six man and maxi yacht racing along with a whole host of other water borne activities. The only difference between this and your average regatta is that the Todd river is dry. All the events are run on the sand river bed. With typical Aussie spirit this is all just one big fun event and audience participation is an integral part of it. All good fun and entertaining.

Bath tub dingy racing.

Single Kayaks.

Two man rowing race.

Four man yacht race.

Life Guards to the rescue…

Four man “rowing”.

The grand finale was a battle between The Vikings, pirates and the navy. A spectacular water and flour fight that was without a doubt the most entertaining part of the day. Apparently the Vikings won. All very amusing.

Although pretty tired, at the end of the day I was really glad we made the great effort to get here in time for another insight into Aussie culture. Top marks to Gareth for letting us know the date of the event.

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