It’s September and Singapore can, once again, start counting down to the Singapore Grand Prix, Formula One’s first and only night race. Fans of motorsport can look forward to 3 days of high-speed, adrenaline pumping action, held from the 21st to 23rd of September. Singapore hosted the first night race in 2008, and this year marks the fifth and final year that Singapore will be organising the event.
With the night Races coming to an end, and the next Olympic Games a distant 4 years away, what else can we look forward to for that heart-stopping adrenalin rush?
Here at AskBlog, we’ve compiled a list of some of the strangest sporting events that take place around the world. They may not be as exhilarating as F1, but hopefully will come in handy for anyone seeking to fuel their need for speed.
1. Snail Racing – Don’t hold your breath!
If cars moving at speeds in excess of 300km/h is just too much for your heart to handle, snail racing may just be the sport for you.
Farmer Neil Riseborough, the Snail Trainer to the World Championships, kicks off each race with the reassuring cry of ‘Ready, Steady, Slow!’ Snails race outwards from the centre of a circular ‘race-course’ with a radius of 13 inches, and the first snail to cross the perimeter is declared the winner. The current World Record, which stands at 2 minutes, was achieved by a snail named Archie in 1995.
Designed as a fund-raising event in 1980, the World Snail Racing Championships are now held annually in Congham, Norfolk. For more details, do visit the official Snail Racing Championships website at www.snailracing.net
2. Beer Can Regatta – Can you do it?
The first beer can regatta was held in 1974 as part of the city’s efforts to solve a littering problem. The competition has since developed into an annual event and a major highlight on the social calendar in Darwin, Australia.
The premise is simple – construct a seaworthy vessel out of empty beer or soft-drink cans, hop in, and hope you can steer it to the finish line. Boat entries have ranged in size from 1 to 12 metres and often include bizarre ‘weaponry’ and other adornments. Competition rules are neatly summed up in the regatta’s Ten Can-mandments, which include stern warnings against drowning and getting lost. Beginner builders are even furnished with a helpful guide to proper boat can-struction.
Interested in being a can-didate? More details can be found in the official website at www.beercanregatta.org.au
3. Worm Charming – like snakes, but smaller
What makes your pulse race? For some, it’s the exhilarating high of watching sleek vehicles speed around a race circuit. For others, it’s the gentle satisfaction of coaxing earthworms out of the ground.
In the World Worm Charming Championships, each competitor operates in a 3 x 3 m plot, with the objective of charming the most number of worms from their plot in 30 minutes. Participants use a variety of methods to generate vibrations, which in turn entice worms out of their subterranean homes. ‘Tyning’, or hand-vibrating a 4-tyne garden fork inserted into the turf, is widely considered as the sport’s most successful method.
The first Worm Charming World Record was set up by Mr Tom Shufflebothan, who raised 511 worms from a three yard square pot. This record remained unbroken until 2009, when Miss S. and Mr M. Smith charmed an amazing 567 worms! If this peaceful sport sounds like your cup of tea, you may wish to read more about contest rules and its regulatory body at www.wormcharming.com
4. Extreme ironing – Pressing for Victory
This outdoor activity combines the danger and excitement of an ‘extreme’ sport with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt. It involves taking an iron and board (if possible) to remote locations and ironing a few items of laundry.
‘Ironists’ are limited only by their imagination –past extreme ironing events have taken place on mountains, in canoes, while skiing, snowboarding and parachuting, and under water.
Purists of the sport claim that it was started in 1997 in Leicester, East Midlands, England by resident Phil Shaw in his back garden. Shaw and his roommates, who consider themselves the original founders of the sport, now operate under the pseudonyms of Steam, Starch and Spray.
Extreme ironing has branched off to other more extreme sports such as bungee ironing and Extreme Cello Playing. For your very own dose of domestic danger, why not find out more at www.extremeironing.com? Laundry will never be the same again.
We hope that this post has managed to get your pulse racing! But if it hasn’t, do tell us what will! Share your thoughts with us on Twitter with the hashtag #LibrarySg. You can also follow us @PublicLibrarySg. See you!
Post contributed by Lynnette Kang, Librarian