Every year, a regatta is held in Alice Springs. Due to the lack of water in Central Australia, contestants have to carry bottomless “boats” trough a dried-out river. When the river did carry water in 1993, the regatta became “the only regatta ever cancelled because of wet weather”.

Henley-on-Todd Regatta

Competition at 51st Henley-on-Todd Regatta in August 2012

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 colonizers 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 was the first regatta cancelled because of wet weather, on … Continue Reading (3 minute read)

9 thoughts on “Every year, a regatta is held in Alice Springs. Due to the lack of water in Central Australia, contestants have to carry bottomless “boats” trough a dried-out river. When the river did carry water in 1993, the regatta became “the only regatta ever cancelled because of wet weather”.”

  1. thestrange1007

    If you think wet weather won’t cancel a regatta, you’ve never been to St. John’s.

  2. k-c-jones

    Did Terry Pratchett get his idea from here? I wonder.

  3. NicNoletree

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

  4. boblechock

    I remember when we were planning our trip to australia and planned to stay just one night in Alice Springs before making our way down to Uluru. We spent the longest time on google maps debating how far to stay away from the Todd River so that we wouldn’t have to put up with mosquitoes and bugs. Then we decided to use street view…..

  5. boondoggie42

    Not to be confused with the Henley Royal Regatta, LOL.

  6. benjamatic4thepeople

    Hot tip: anyone can join in the fun. Was there last year and put my name down for a bunch of races (I sucked big time)

  7. Brewergrupenfurher

    I was there in 2011 it was a rather wet year as all of the pictures I took looked nothing like the dry desert area I was expecting. The tour guides kept saying it’s rarer to have so much green in the pictures.

  8. TheodoreFistbeard

    A nation of Madlads.

    But, I suppose, one can’t expect anything different from a land which has a town translated ‘underground white people.’

    https://youtu.be/-1XSKu3pK8A

  9. readinreadin

    Can’t they just pipe in water from a nearby city or maybe dig a canal from the ocean?

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