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Competitions have a special place in human life. But among them there are quite unusual ones, where the result is not always put at the forefront.
Great Dorset Steam Fair, Dorset, UK. This show takes place in late August - early September. But tickets for it can be purchased in spring. After all, these unusual races have managed over 40 years of their existence to turn from fun for fans into the world's largest steam engine competition. In addition, a music festival of the same name and a radio station with the same name were born. The concerts there are so popular that they attract spectators no less than directly at the races themselves. To describe their brainchild, the organizers cite two eloquent figures - 550 barrels of beer and 200 tons of coal. The list of sponsors for these races is quite impressive; they were even sponsored by the National Heritage Foundation. Still, the competition in Dorset retains the atmosphere of a steam-loving teenager. The Royal Oak pub is rented in the town for the duration of the races. Of course, it is not enough for all 25 thousand spectators who come to gaze at the monsters puffing with black smoke. But in 1968, when it all began, there were only two thousand onlookers. Today racing in Dorset is a respectable event with a budget of £ 2 million and 300 employees. Oddly enough, the race itself does not include the railway itself. Most of the old steam locomotives are dressed in hard wheels from the same ancient tractors.
Land Boat Races, Alice Springs, Australia. These races are actually a real parody. The fact is that this Australian Hedley-on-Todd regatta seems to be making fun of the famous British Henley on Thames. Thus, the former colony, where dangerous criminals were exiled for a long time, made fun of their metropolis. In addition, the race seems to make it clear that a severe Australian drought, devastating farmers and destroying life on the mainland, can bring people and smiles. And the thing is, at Henley-on-Todd, people race boats right on land. And it was established by one local meteorologist, who was tired of waiting for blessed precipitation from nature. If in England Cambridge and Oxford take part in the race, then in Australia “Vikings” and “pirates” compete. Teams arrive in Alice Springs every third Saturday in August. The boats in the race are of the same class as in England - aristocratic eights, yachts, oxford tubes and bath tubes. It is quite difficult for the participants to paddle on the sand, but to run with the boat lifted to the waist is much easier. There are also large pedal boats. They move slowly, scratching the bottom of the sand and raising clouds of dust. And there are races at the mouth of the dry river Tod. Surprisingly, boat races take place at a distance of one and a half thousand kilometers from the nearest body of water.
Top Fuel, California, USA. It doesn't matter that the cars participating in the race have a rather bizarre appearance. The main thing here is speed. The length of the distance is a quarter of a mile, or 402.3 meters. And two participants go to the track. To detect the results of the participants, it is necessary to use sensitive electronics. After all, all cars are very fast and are separated by a split second. The peculiarity of the race is also that the cars use rather unusual fuel. It is 10% methanol and another 90% nitromethane. And outwardly, these cars are difficult to confuse with other cars. Racing specimens are long and narrow. These are the fastest samples of all machines. Their start starts at a speed of 160 km / h, and at the finish line the bar of 500 km / h is reached. It should be noted that the braking distance of the cars is impressive. At the start of the cars, gas immediately escapes from eight nozzles, whose temperature is 260 degrees Celsius. The speed, like the temperature, grows 4 times at a distance. Only now the whole race lasts no more than 4 seconds. It is usually carried out in the dark to make the fire of roaring cars look more spectacular.
Tarantass races, Kiev, Ukraine. The track of this race ran in the capital of Ukraine along the Dnieper descent, from Glory Square to the Park road. The participants rode the most unusual tarantulas. Someone decided to move around on a beer can, and someone on a sandwich. The transport was a Rubik's cube, a purple shoe, an apple, a set table, a drum set, a moonshine still. Thirty other objects were not so colorful, but just as unusual. But all of these vehicles had one related property - they lacked a motor. And I had to move with the help of natural traction. The teams were allowed to attend no more than 4 people, they then made up the muscular strength of their transport. The race was attended by sportsmen-visionaries from Kiev, Kharkov, Donetsk, Lvov, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa, Sevastopol and other cities of the country. At the same time, the track for the competition was specially built - at a distance of 450 meters, there was a place for both jumps and counter slopes. Crazy tarantas simply must, in addition to their color, have speed and stability. And the team "Pekelnaya Chortyaka" won the last competition. Dnepropetrovsk team "Under the cover of night" overcame the distance the fastest. It took her 55 seconds to drive the entire 450 meters. Ukrainian competitions have become the next world stage of the project "races on anything." In Russia, it will be possible to see this in July in Krylatskoye.
Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta, Darwin, Australia. How can you get upset when you find yourself on a desert island with a couple of cases of beer? After all, you can throw a whole party with drinks! And after that, you can build an ordinary raft from empty containers. Those who do not believe in such a means of transportation need to learn about the Darwin Regatta. This race has been running since 1974. During this time, an ordinary district family holiday has grown into an important festival, which has a place in the tourist calendar. And the idea fell on the organizers literally from the sky. The passed cyclone Tracy turned part of the Australian city of Darwin into ruins, and many volunteers and rescuers came here. They faced a problem - what to do with the disposal of numerous containers? After all, all the liquid came here in cans or a bottle. The answer was found - to adapt it for an unusual regatta. It has become a beautification of the city and an option for fighting garbage. More than 60 boats built from beer bottles take part in the races every year. But at the dawn of the competition there were four times less of them. At the same time, the floating facilities are not small - the longest boat reaches a length of 12 meters.
Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race, Baltimore, USA. There are no cars in these competitions, their places were taken by kinetic sculptures. This race is organized by the American Museum of Visual Arts in Baltimore. After the end of the competition, the winner is shown throughout the next year. And the race was born back in 1969 in California. There, artist Howard Brown made a five-wheeled bicycle from a tricycle. However, this transport did not allow him to win the competition. But at the wheel of an unusual pentacycle, a local senator was photographed. Everyone liked the new transport, and it was decided to implement the idea at the national level. For this, a complex racetrack was built in California, on which the Kinetic Great Race on the sand dunes began to be held. To this Baltimore responded with an eight-hour race. Participants had to overcome 15 miles on mud, sand, ice and sidewalk. Initially there were only six participants, but now the Baltimore Race has become the prestigious stage of the whole International Championship. There are a number of requirements for each participating crew. There are restrictions on the size of the vehicle and the number of crew. There must also be some kind of "domestic creature made of sock" on board. In this case, the piece of clothing must certainly be old. For violation of this paragraph of the rules, each team of two pilots is fined for an hour.
Pattaya International Bed Race, Pattaya, Thailand. The idea of this race cannot be considered new. For 40 years such races have been held in Yorkshire, England. After all, love for an eccentric is in the blood of the British. Thailand decided to simplify this competition. Here the January race has been held for several years, it is obvious that it will live for a long time. And decided to cheer up tourists and local residents club Rotary, the idea paid off. A lot of people took to the streets to greet the beds rushing to the finish line. There are more than 30 participants here, and the mayor of Pattaya guides them on sporting feats. The assessment is carried out in four nominations - beauty, singularity, speed and popularity with the public. At the last competitions, the employees of the city mayor's office were the fastest, they guessed to push the bed with the pilot. The most beautiful transport turned out to be at the department of special investigations, and the local police won the other two nominations. At the next competition, a new nomination appeared - "the slowest bed". There can be no losers in the competition, because all the proceeds from the race go to a charitable foundation. For 3 years of the existence of this race, it was possible to collect about 30 million baht.
Pumpkin Race, Ludwicksburg, Germany. It was not this unusual race that brought glory to Ludwiksburg, but the largest pumpkin exhibition in Europe. It is held every year in the fall following the harvest. Here, guests can see up to 500 thousand pumpkins that have grown in 450 varieties. Pumpkins are shown in indoor pavilions and even contests are held among them. People lay out whole flower beds. And in the local Baroque garden, with the help of pumpkins, they collect whole unusual sculptures, similar to the works of the famous Arcimboldo. A giant dinosaur porter was last compiled. Sculptures are also carved from pumpkins; they are participants in the local theater. Well, the simplest thing is that fruits are the basis for numerous dishes. The most famous of these is the German pumpkin strudel. It is not surprising that the celebration of these huge fruits could not do without races. The tireless people of Ludwigsburg have mastered this way of using their favorite pumpkins. To do this, in large fruits weighing under one hundred kilograms, they hollow out the driver's seat with an oar. Then paths in the local lake are fenced, from where an excellent view of the Ludwigsburg Castle opens. Some participants wear protective helmets on their heads, made, of course, also from pumpkin.
British Lawn Mower Race, UK. Where can an Irishman have an original idea? In a pub, of course! This is what happened in 1973 when Jim Gavin decided to run a lawn mower race. Today these competitions have already gained worldwide distribution. They race with this garden tool even in Finland. There is a whole Grand Prix in the UK. It includes several stages, taking place in different places and at different times. There is also an international championship for these races. The very first such race in history was attended by 80 participants. The entire population of the village decided to compete with each other. Gavin's idea gained popularity, because lawn mower racing is a kind of challenge to world sport, which is increasingly turning into show business. But many can not or no longer want to buy motorcycles to race. You can immediately remove the knives from the tool and compete with friends without spending a lot of money on it. It should be noted that such competitions are fundamentally devoid of a commercial component. All collected money goes to charity. The races have become so popular that celebrities are honored to take part in them. So, Sir Stirling Moss won the English Grand Prix twice. Other champions include Murray Walker, Ferrari designer John Barnard and many riders from the UK's Super Bike motorcycle series.