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Build a Boat of Cans
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sail in a vessel built entirely out of cans or milk cartons?
2017 Regatta. Photo: Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta
Since its inaugural event in 1974, the Beer Can Regatta has been held at Darwin's Mindil Beach to the great delight of locals and visitors alike. In years past, throughout the year teams of participants would passionately engage in acquiring (through drinking the contents) as many beer or soft drink cans as they possibly could and then use the cans to build "vessels" of all kinds. "Boats" could be in any number of forms with anything from Flintstones cars to Viking ships built and then launched at the event without being water tested.
SS Bush Chool, 2017 Regatta. Photo: Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta
This year's event will be held on Sunday 22 July 2018 from 10 am to 5 pm, with fantastic tides expected. The day will commence with boat judging with prizes being awarded for the Best Softdrink Can Boat, Best Beer Can Boat, Best Novelty Boat and Best Super Boat.
Chardonay Invader, 2016 Regatta. Photo: Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta
From 10 am to 11.45 there will be a range of family regatta events such as running races, junior kayak, sandcastle competition, tug-of-war and soft drink boat race along with fun craft activities and the kids' thong throwing competition.
From 12 pm to 4.30 pm, the Beer Can Regatta events will include the adult kayak, men's and women's tug of war, iron person competition, beer can boat race, Henley on Mindil, thong throwing and the Battle of Mindil with the presentations ending the day.
Henley on Mindil, 2017 Regatta. Photo: Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta
This is a boat race where anything goes. You can flour bomb and water spray as much as you like as you navigate the course finding a hidden object under the water, however even if you find the object it can be 'pirated' away from you and the winner is the team that gets the object back to the registration tent on the beach.
If your boat doesn't float, then the Henley on Mindil is the race for you. Reminiscent of Alice Spring's Henley on Todd, spirit your boat in a straight line down the beach in this keenly contested race.
Mindil Can Ground, 2017 Regatta. Photo: Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta
If you think you would like to build and enter a boat, you need to get drinking now or head on into Envirobank Recycling at 41 McKinnon Road, Pinelands who will happily supply you with 1000 cans of your choice for $100. You will also need to follow the Ten Can-mandments which can be found on the website but which include 'Thou shalt not commit adultery', for an air of responsibility and respect. The website includes boat examples and construction method help, but builders are encouraged to be inventive.
Those wishing to participate will need to register their boat by 9 am on the day and submit their $50 registration fee.
Kids Kayak Race, 2017 Regatta. Photo: Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta
Entry to the event is by gold coin donation and there are bar facilities (including soft drink and water) available therefore no BYO. Being Sunday and the dry season, Mindil Beach Sunset Market will be open and trading all day with food and craft stalls.
Parking will be available, however, why not leave the car at home and get the number 4 bus from Casuarina or the city right to the event.
Fun for all ages, 2017 Regatta. Photo: Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta