For a totally unique event that promises hours of fun for the whole family, look no further than the Rotary Henley on Todd Regatta. What makes this boat race unique is that there is no water! The races take place along the dry bed of the Todd River, and competitors carry bottomless, lightweight kayak, rowing boat, and yacht frames, and dash through the sand to the finish line. Other events involve sand shovelling, sand skiing, boogie boards, tug-of-wars, and sandcastle building for the kids. No other dry river boating regatta exists on the planet, so it definitely shouldn’t be missed.
All attendees are strongly encouraged to participate in the various events throughout the day, which include solo and team races, as well as plenty of options for kids. Participants can opt to get creative and build their own boats or use those provided, and the most impressive homemade boat wins a prize. The day begins with a parade down Todd Mall which raises excitement for the event. The finale of the day is the battle of the boats – three motorised boats fire flour bombs, water cannons, and water balloons at each other, resulting in a huge, colourful water fight. The winner is decided by the crowd. Outside of the boat races, visitors can also enjoy live music, food and drink stalls, and a kids’ entertainment area.
The regatta is held annually on the third Saturday in August and is the main method of fundraising for the rotary clubs of Alice Springs.