THE only waterless boating regatta in the world is back this year to celebrate its 60th anniversary.
The Rotary Henley on Todd Regatta returns to the outback capital of Alice Springs on August 20 following a two-year COVID-imposed hiatus.
The entertaining, all-ages event sees teams battle it out in bottomless boats and bath tubs as they race across the red sand of the dry Todd River.
Northern Territory Major Events Company (NTMEC) Chief Executive Officer Tim Watsford said the Rotary Henley on Todd Regatta was one of those unique Territory events that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
"At least once in your life, you need to experience the regatta and everything else Alice Springs and its beautiful surrounds have to offer," he said.
Since 1962, the regatta has only missed three years including being cancelled in 1993 due to unusual wet weather filling up the river, and in 2020 and 2021 due to the global pandemic.
Event spokesperson Dominic Miller said the regatta was a zany send-up of the famous Henley Royal Regatta on London's River Thames.
"It's a great example of the Territory spirit, where we laugh at adversity and have lots of fun doing it," he said.
In addition to the main 'Bring Your Own' boat event, there will also be competitions for those carrying paddle canoes, yachts and surf skis, as well as races along the sand beds.
There's also the 'Little Nipper Races', where kids race with floaties "for safety", and the famous 'Battle of the Gun Boats' finale, complete with pirates brandishing water pistols and launching flour bombs.
This year, special guests from the Todd family will be in Alice Springs for the regatta as they celebrate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Overland Telegraph Line.
The Rotary Henley on Todd Regatta kicks off with a parade down Todd Mall in the Alice Springs CBD from 10.30am. Tickets are on sale now.
Click here for more information.
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