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Crab Racing @ The Friend in Hand Pub

Home > Sydney > Pubs
Published May 21st 2012
Have you ever been bored of just drinking with friends every night? Well, here's something for you and your friends to do on a Wednesday night: Crab Racing.

I had the chance to see this first hand when I arrived here in Sydney. Crab Racing at The Friend in the Hand pub in Glebe. We were only told us two things: 1. Do not wear white and 2. Get ready to get wet.

This in fact totally scared me, but made me feel more excited. I don't know why I thought it would be like a rowdy, crazy party, but in my country, if you weren't allowed to wear white and the signs say prepare to get wet, rowdy and crazy would most definitely be the adjectives I would use to describe such a place.

There is no doubt that google maps couldn't help you out in finding this place, it's a bit hidden away. So don't worry if you get lost or anything like that. You can actually hear that you're near the venue when you get inside Glebe cause you can hear the men shouting 100 meters away from the pub.

The place itself shows that the pub had some history to tell. The two- storey building features a wide array of antiques such as movie posters, beer bottles during the 60s, a moving train above the beer counter, and a lot more. I was really amazed with the things that they had.

It showed a lot of character about the place. It actually reminded me of somewhat like a man's lair, since it had so much of toys for boys on display, sports channels were being shown, and at the top of that, there were two billiard tables and a foosball table in the second floor. The only down side about the tables that you were only allowed to play one game after you've paid five dollars. So I suggest that you try not to fight with a professional, cause your game will end too fast, then your five dollars will be gone too fast. But its not to say that women weren't welcome. In fact, they were very pleased if women participated in their activities, especially if they were wearing white.

Why white? Well, before the actual crab racing goes on, the host crab—the host who wears this ridiculous and yet funny costume of a crab—welcomes everybody to the pub and wets any person who disagrees with what he says. So the lucky girl who was wearing white and gets hit with water is actually cheered on. There was actually a girl who wore white and got wet for disobeying the host crab's instructions—the men cheered. So ladies, I suggest that if you do go to this pub, wear something you're comfortable of getting wet on.

I was pretty lucky that I was staying right in front of the counter, because they didn't really focus on the people in front. But the crowd was not only trying to stay dry, but they were really excited for the crab racing. I was too, I was pretty much shouting and laughing with the group.

Anyway, as the crowd gets pumped up with what the host crab says, rules are mentioned and the games begin. But how does it even start? Here's the deal. Your group will get to pick a crab that will hopefully win the race for you. If you're one of the lucky six, one of your friends (or you) will have to fight for the prize by eating this very tasty treat. The fastest person to finish the treat wins the prize!

when we arrived, they said that there was going to be a crab racing in five minutes, so I positioned myself right in front of the counter where the crabs would be racing. I still couldn't figure out how the race would be like.

Soon enough, as the host crab mentions all of the team names that were cleverly named and their corresponding crab number, he then puts out this Tupperware of crabs with colored shells and numbers on it. Then, he puts the crabs in the middle of the rounded counter and counts to five, four, three, two, and one! He releases the crabs, and off the crabs go. When the crabs reaches this black line that's about eight centimeters away from the edge, the host gets the crabs and shouts the top six crabs.

It was amazing because it happened so quickly. Some crabs didn't even get to walk, but just went inside there shell. There was this one crab that went to another direction, but still ended up winning. It was all very exciting especially if your crab was the one winning.

After all of the crabs has been selected, the top six players were to surround the table. Their mission was to eat a chocolate donut without using their hands. Sounds simple, right? The host then gets a bottle of salt and dashes each of their donuts not just once, but twice. I thought it was very courageous of them to do it, because eating a salty chocolate donut using your mouth is not very manly to do, plus the fact that they had to lick every bit of the chocolate from the plate was another issue.

One guy had a hard time because he had a full on beard, so there were lots of chocolate on his face that he couldn't really reach, so he lost, but the guy who won really did a good job in scooping and licking and eating that salty chocolate donut. He deserved that prize.

What is the prize? Believe it or not, it's a Friend in the Hand t-shirt. Not as great as you thought it would be? The only thing that I can actually comment on that is this: joining the crab racing game will never be just about the shirt. It's about having fun with your mates and bonding with them in a whole different level.

But wait, there's more:

Not only do they do crab racing, but they also provide an equally amusing activity for the ladies, since most of the crab racing is over powered by men—the hula hoop game is done every after crab racing. In here, three ladies get to go up the counter and get to have three chances in doing the hula hoop. The longest and most cheered lady wins the prize.

One of my friends joined the festivities, and our house cheered on for her. She was the first one to climb up the counter and strut her talent in hula hoop-ing. She was really good, but unfortunately, the last person was way better than her, so even though we shouted our lungs out, we didn't win.

All in all, I truly suggest that this be one of the places you try, but you have to make sure that you're game for anything, because in this place, I think anything can happen.
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Why? It's a wild night with more than just crabs
When: Wednesday Night, crab racing starts at 8:30
Where: The Friend in the Hand, Glebe
Cost: Varies
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