Henley on Todd: Big kids, small kids, a ball for all

p2349 Henley 2016 kids 4 OK

 

p2349 Henley 2016 battle 3 OKBy ERWIN CHLANDA

 

It was hard to tell who had more fun at the dry river “regatta” – the little kids or the big ones: the ones racing their rubber duckies, the others playing pirates, sailors and Vikings as their battle boats churned through the sand (see video).

 

It seems the kids carried Henley on Todd this year, with a four or five-year-old earning thunderous applause being a distant last – but by Golly was he trying! It was home-made family fun at its best.

 

The town’s three Rotary Clubs staged the 55th annual fixture, with help from a lot of fellow volunteer friends, to raise money for charity.

 

Last year’s event, which had much the same crowd as this year, about 4200 spectators, raised $24,000 that was donated to the Fred Hollows Foundation.

 

The concert in the river the night before had only a small crowd, but Commodore Bill Palmer says the organisers were being encouraged to have another one next year, as new events take some time to catch on, and those who came loved the venue.

 

He says the Navy band proved that it can play lots more than just marching tunes, and former Chocolate Starfish lead singer Adam Thompson starred.

 

p2349 Henley 2016 Aussies OK

The Aussies won the Australia Cup in a boat that would need to be described as minimalist. Mayor, Henley commentator and inveterate Tweeter Damien Ryan (white hat) is taking a snap.

p2349 Henley 2016 Yanks OK

 

The Yanks came a close second. It may have helped to point the bow in the direction of travel?

 

p2349 Henley 2016 kids 3 OK

 

Kids on a surfboard on rails while the the Navy (Rotary Club of Mbantua) was declared as the winner of the sea battle. Vikings (Alice Springs) came second and Pirates (Stuart) were last. No correspondence will be entered into.
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  1. Lindsay Ross
    Posted August 22, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    That was my son you are referring to in your second paragraph, and he is only a few months past his fourth birthday.
    Your mention of “home-made family fun” is a perfect description. After nine years away from this event and being the first with children, it was a reminder to me just how wonderful this event is for the town.
    While it might be easy to become a bit blasé about HOT, and dismiss it as just for the tourists, I firmly believe it carries great importance in the social life of our town. Everyone from the youngest competitor to the wackiest boat builder can have a laugh and get into the spirit.
    As the father of such a young competitor, I am thankful to all the event organisers and volunteer staff who make it happen. Long may it continue.

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