Thursday, July 14, 2011


   The Darwin Beer Can Regatta is an event which has been held annually since 1974 in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia at Mindil Beach. Participants create boats using empty beer cans, soft drink (soda) cans, soft drink bottle and milk cartons. The vessels are not tested for seaworthiness, prior to water events, and those that fall apart are part of the day's entertainment. A great many sundry events go along with the regatta, including concerts, a thong-throwing contest and the "Henley-on-Mindil" competition (named after the Henley-on-Todd Regatta), where participants run their "boats" around like Flintstones cars. The Darwin Stubby seems to be the beer bottle of choice for this festival. This bottle reigns as the largest "stubby" of beer in the world at 75 ounces, or roughly 2.1 litres.

   The first Beer Can Regatta was held in June 1974. This is contrary to popular belief that the regatta started in the aftermath of Cyclone Tracy which hit Darwin on Christmas Eve, 1974.
   The 1st Beer Can Regatta was the brainchild of Lutz Frankenfeld and Paul Rice-Chapman, both of whom were members of the Darwin Regional Tourism Promotion Aassociation. At the time, Paul (working at local newspaper "the NT News") had a deal with Swan Breweries to stage a water festival of somesort, and was developing the idea of building rafts out of empty beer cans. Lutz took this idea a step further and added an outboard motor to the vessel, and things grew from there.
   The Beer Can Regatta is now managed by the Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta Association Inc, which is essentially a partnership of the four Lions Clubs of Darwin to:

 1. promote tourism in the Northern Territory
 2. raise funds for charitable purposes,
 3.  promote Lionism.

   The Beer Can Regatta is also known as the Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta.
The Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta has in recent years taken place on Mindil Beach on Sundays 8 August 2010, 19 July 2009 and on 13 July 2008. The date changes every year, but will generally take place on a Sunday with favourably timed high water.
The 2011 Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta will be held on Sunday 10 July 2011.


Battle of Mindil
The boat race where anything goes; flour bombs, water sprays etc. The boats sail around the course and have to find an object that has been hidden under water somewhere in the course. The winner is the finder of the object.
Junior Soft Drink Can Boat Race

If you and your friends think you have the stomach to drink enough soft drink to build a boat out of cans, then this is your race. Great for Schools
Adult Can Boat Challenge (Crew of 4)
This event tests your boat building and racing abilities on the water. How well can 4 people come together to master the rough seas in a can boat!
Adult and Junior Kayak Paddle
Pull your kayak out and compete in the junior kayak competitions. This is a great race for adults and kids to get involved in. All kayaks are supplied on the day

On The Shore

A test of skill over both land and water. Win a dinghy complete with outboard motor and safety equipment: just land a golf ball in a bucket.
That's the bucket on a small dinghy anchored about 70metres off-shore. Easy!

On the beach

Henley on Mindil
So you built the boat for water but it didn’t float. Don’t despair, as this is the race for you. How fast can you and your mates carry a Henley boat in a straight line in a race down the beach? This is a very keenly fought race.

Iron Person Competition-Both iron man and iron women competitions

Tug-of-War Competition-Held on the beach throughout the day. Each team consists of eight people with competitions for adults and children.

Best Novelty Hat- The best novelty hat - a fun competition requiring a little ingenuity and a lot of fun.

Kids Sand Castle Competition- The best kids sand castle. Looking for creative effort on this one.
Family slalom-Family slalom competition for two adults and two children.

Kids Beach Races-Held each year for the kids to see who’s the fastest on the sand.

Ladies & Mens Thong Throwing Competition-Just how much practise have you had through the year to compete in this competition will decide whether you end up a finalist. These are the thongs you wear on your feet by the way, not the other kind.

Boat Building

If you decide to build a boat and enter one of our events, there are a few rules that you should be aware of.

These rules are in place to ensure the events to run smoothly and fairly.



1. All craft must comply with the rules for the specific event in which it is entered: these rules will be outlined on the the day of the event.

2. Any design will be permitted if, in the opinion of the Committee, the craft is safe.

3. Craft may be converted to enter more than one event provided they comply with the rules for each event entered.

4. The Committee reserves the right to reject any craft displaying written or other material, which might be offensive to the public.

5. The Committee reserves the right to refuse entry in any event or events to any person or persons without giving any reasons for such refusal.

6. A tow rope no longer that the length of the craft shall be attached to the bow of each craft.

7. All crew members shall wear a suitable flotation jacket.

8. The operator and crew of a boat shall be responsible for all damage caused by the boat.

9. All craft shall assemble in the marshalling area at least 15 minutes before the announced starting time of the event.

10. No protest regarding eligibility of a craft will be considered once the race has started.

11. No protest regarding the result or running of a race will be considered unless lodged with the protest committee within 15 minutes of completion of the event.

12. At the conclusion of the Regatta, the crew and supporters shall remove all boats or parts of boats.


14. All craft should appear to be made substantially from drink cans.

To ensure participants understand the spirt of the event we also suggest you read and follow:


1. Thou shalt enter the event in the right spirit..

2. Thou shalt build the craft of cans.

3. The craft shall float by cans alone.

4. Thou shalt not drown.

5. Thou shalt not take the name of the craft in vain. Any craft bearing signs or lettering that may be offensive will be barred.

6. Thou shalt not drift from the straight and narrow and end up at Mandorah.

7. Thou shalt not protest too much.

8. Thou shall honor thy Committee.

9. Thou shalt not commit adultery – nothing really to do with the Regatta, but it gives us an air of responsibility and respect.
10. Thou shalt go back and read the first can-mandment again.

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