As lovers of rowing, we love all things water, whether floating on water, propelling one’s self over water, and even being underwater. In tribute, we bring you a compendium of strange happenings on water that will brighten your week.
Last year, we humoured you with some strange situations in this post: A Stroke of Lightness, which includes a hilarious Keeping Up Appearances clip as well as a clip of the Buster Keaton Rowing Race. Check it out if you missed it.
In this article in Mental Floss, rowing is not involved so much as staying afloat in various races in vehicles made out of pumpkins, beer cans and, in one case, concrete.
The American Society of Civil Engineers sponsors the ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition which started as an intramural competition the 1960s, and was last won in June 2018 by California Polytechnic State University in the 31st Annual!
Perhaps the Americans can relate to that, but, when it comes to strangeness, our friends from the U.K. may be more inclined to think about the Great Yorkshire Pudding Race, where paddlers propel actual giant Yorkshire puddings.
To make your own, start with 50 eggs, four bags of flour and 25 pints of milk. Beat and bake the dough, then, for ideal flotation, cover in many layers of varnish.
Race is a lofty title as the boaters are young children, and they paddle their puddings in the village of Brawby with no clear finish line.
Dreamed up by Simon Thackray of The Shed and covered by the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Independent, the Guardian, and Ben le Vay, author of Bradt Guide’s Eccentric Britain, who said “I think it could be an Olympic sport…”
That’s unlikely, fortunately or not for bakers everywhere, as no race has taken place in recent years and it’s not clear when we can look forward to another pudding bob.
Along the same lines as puddings, we bring you the Mayor’s Challenge Floating Tea Cup Race in Victoria, Canada. We’re quite sure that the only similarity between this race and the Rowing Canada Aviron national team who trains there is the drinking of tea.
These dainty crafts will be far more suitable for high teas than high seas during the 2018 World Rowing Coastal Championships this summer.
For those of you living in places where water freezes, we bring you ice rowing. At least you don’t need to worry about rough waters and my guess would be you needn’t shoulder check as often.
Leg rowing, featured here in a piece on The Culture Trip, isn’t strange for the people who do it to fish in Vietnam and Myanmar but looks strange to many of us, and also strangely relaxing.
We end with highlights from the Waihi Surf Boat Weekend 2018 that took place in New Zealand. It is strange only in that rowing in waters this powerful is foreign to most of us, and makes watching these rowers so compelling. Considering many of you would like to row in NZ, we thought we’d share this mesmerizing clip. Rest assured, we will not be attempting this anytime soon on our trips.