Latvia’s Wacky Milk Carton Boat Race

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Every year, at the end of August, Latvians celebrate Milk, Bread and Honey Festival with a special race between boats made from thousands of empty milk cartons.

The milk carton boat regatta has become a very popular tradition since it first took place nine years ago. The wacky event always take place on the Lielupe River, in the Latvian town of Jelgava, and means to offer local audience a good time and popularize a healthy lifestyle through the consumption of organic dairy foods made in Latvia. Teams of locals eager of a good time, as well as some representing dairy processors and food producers enter the competition every year and fight for various titles, including the fastest boat, funniest crew and most original boat.

This year a record number of participants registered milk carton boat race Р36 teams showed up on the Lielupe River, on August 27, to prove their seafaring skills. There were only a few rules teams had to obey for this event: boats had to be made excursively of empty milk cartons and had to be guided to the finish line by human power alone. The size of the boat and number of rowers was not limited, provided the carton vessel remained afloat. The course was only 50 meters long, the shortest so far, but teams struggled to finish as they had to paddle against a strong wind. Some team members even jumped into the river to push their boats across the finish.

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Pumpkin Lovers Compete in Giant Pumpkin Boat Race

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The Pumpkin Boat Race of Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival has people racing each other in hollowed out pumpkins, across Ludwigsburg Lake.

Known as the biggest pumpkin related event in the world, the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival draws in pumpkin enthusiasts from all around the globe, every year. They travel to the small German town to see over 500,000 pumpkins, from 450 different varieties, arranged in all kinds of different shapes, from animals to abstract sculptures.

One of the most eagerly awaited events of the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival is the pumpkin boat race. Giant pumpkins, some of them over 90 kg heavy, are hollowed out and launched onto Ludwigsburg Lake, and contestants have to paddle their way to the finish line, in the cheers of onlookers. I’m not sure what the prize is for winning such a bizarre boat race, but I could swear it’s something related to pumpkins.

If you’re a pumpkin lover yourself, you’ll be happy to know the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival continues until early November.

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The Oxford Cardboard Boat Race 2010

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People brought their wacky home-made cardboard boats for the 22nd edition of the Cardboard Boat Race, on the Trend Avon river, in Oxford.

The Oxford Cardboard Boat Race is a family friendly event, organized by a group of local volunteers, known as “Boat Bums International” , with proceedings going to the Maryland Special Olympics fund. As you may have guessed, the challenge of this particular race is to build a human-powered boat out of corrugated cardboard capable of staying afloat long enough to finish the course.

But, with cardboard being so sensitive to water and all, many of the funny looking boats sink moments after they’ve touched water, but seeing boats sink is actually one of the highlights of the Cardboard Boat Race.

This year’s race took place on June 26th and, like every year, drew quite a crowd of eager paddlers, just waiting for an excuse to get away from the city on a weekend. Kids had the most fun, although adults didn’t shy away from proving their rowing skills on the 600-yard course. The entrance fee was $25 if you brought your home-built boat, and $100 for a rented one. Either way, the fun was guaranteed.

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