Darwin Beer Can Regatta

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Darwin's Beer Can Regatta in August 1977 02
Watercraft at 2009 Darwin Beer Can Regatta
Typical more or less floating construction used in the regatta, now a piece of the collection at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.

The Darwin Beer Can Regatta is a festival event begun by Darwin businessmen, Lutz Frankenfeld and Paul Rice-Chapman,[1] which has been held annually since 1974 in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia at Mindil Beach. The inaugural event was attended by about 22,000 people[1] which was about half of Darwin's population at the time.[2] Participants create boats using empty beer cans, soft drink (soda) cans, soft drink bottle and milk cartons. The vessels are not tested for seaworthiness, prior to water events, and those that fall apart are part of the day's entertainment. A great many sundry events go along with the regatta, including concerts, a thong-throwing contest and the "Henley-on-Mindil" competition (named after the Henley-on-Todd Regatta), where participants run their "boats" around like Flintstones cars.

The Darwin Regional Tourism Promotion Association was the organiser of this event until 1978 when the event came under the aegis of the combined Lions Clubs of Darwin.[1]

Other events held on the day have included a thong-throwing contest and a competition for the best novelty hat.[3]

The 2014 Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta took place on 6 July 2014, watched by 15,000 people and attended by visitors from all over Australia. The winner of the first beer can regatta was Kevin Jaques driving the Darwin Powerboat Club's entry "Pistol Knight". Des Hoare the cricketer and then Sales Manager for Swan Brewery Darwin, presented Kevin Jaques with the winning cheques totalling $1,000, doubled because the beer can boat used only Swan beer cans. As Kevin Jaques used his 80 hp Mercury Motor he was also presented with a Mercury First sticker. The perpetual trophy is held within the NT Museum storage area and the keepsake trophy is on the mantlepiece at Kevin Jaques home. Kevin Jaques holds copies of the news clippings and the photographs of the presentations. (This entry updated by Kevin and Cheryl Jaques on 21 June 2017. [4] The main event, the "Battle of Mindil", was fought for a $500 prize.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The History of Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta". Beercan Regatta History. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "Cyclone Tracy: Darwin and the Northern Territory in 1974". Cyclone Tracy Northern Territory government. Archived from the original on 27 March 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Floating blokes at Darwin's beer can regatta". News.com.au. 16 July 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "Beer can regatta draws crowds to Mindil Beach". The Northern Territory News. 6 July 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  5. ^ Ryan Lipman (6 July 2014). "They must be three sheets to the wind! Would you set foot on a boat made entirely from tinnies? Thousands set sail for Australia's BEER CAN Regatta". Mail Online. London. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 

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