The world’s only dry river, bottomless boat race took place yesterday in Alice Springs on the Todd River, for the 55th annual regatta. The highlight of the Henley-on-Todd Regatta is watching teams of ‘rowers’ come together in boats made from metal frames, racing each other through the hot sand. There are also people racing in bathtubs, human-sized hamster wheels and other manifestations of their imaginations. There is a surf-rescue event, white water kayaking and even boogie boarding in the desert!
With red dust replacing the spray of water in your face and shovels replacing oars and paddles, aussies driven mad by the relentless heat, flies, beer and isolation of the red centre of Australia, battle it out to see who’s the craziest bastard in the bush. (Ladies included.)
The grand finale of the Henley-on-Todd Regatta is the battle boat event. Three battle boats are crewed by competing Rotary Teams: The Buccaneers, the Vikings and the Navy. All armed with cannons that shoot flour, confetti, water bombs and of course high power water hoses!
Yes, that is Sir Tony Robinson in the bathtub, “floating” through history.
If you live in the Alice, it all seems normal.