10 weirdest Aussie sporting events of 2012

10 weirdest Aussie sporting events of 2012

Mark your calendar for the Cockroach World Championships. And wife-throwing. And, no, they're not the same event
boat race
The Henley-on-Todd Regatta, in which contestants run boats down a dry river, is usually a close contest.

Australia prides itself on its sporting prowess. It's a nation that likes to compete and likes to win.

When it comes to weird competitions, Aussies become even more determined to triumph.

In concept, if not always execution.

These 10 wacky events are worth journeying to in 2012.

1. Tunarama

Australia Day, January 26, Port Lincoln, South Australia

Fisherman in Port Lincoln brag not only about how big their fish are, but how far they can throw them.

At Tunarama, tunas weighing between eight and 10 kilograms are hurled in a fashion after Olympic hammers.

No wonder the current record of 37.23 meters belongs to former Olympian Sean Carlin.


2. Cockroach World Championships

Australia Day, January 26, Brisbane, Queensland

Queenslanders bring their own cockroaches or purchase one for $5 and race them around a circular track at the Story Bridge Hotel.

To suit all roaches and roach trainers, there's a steeplechase in which the lovable creatures must leap over a garden hose.


3. Wife Carrying Championships

Wife carryingThe good news: she doesn't necessarily have to be your wife.March 31, Singleton, New South Wales

The 200-meter charge through an obstacle course comes with some prizes: not only do you win entry to the world championships in Finland, but also your wife’s weight in beer.

For a twist (as if this competition needs one) competitors can swap wives and carry their mate’s wife, presumably sharing the victory beer with the real husband.

4. Beer Can Regatta

July 15, Darwin, Northern Territory

It’s the boat race in which vessels have to be made of discarded beer cans -– which aren't hard to find ‘round Darwin.

Most vessels sink in the Arafura Sea before they make it to the finish line at Mindi Beach, where competitors start working on materials for next year’s boat.


5. The Camel Cup

July 14, Alice Springs, Northern Territory

Camel CupA camel goes for a rails run during the keenly contested Camel Cup."Ships of the desert” compete for the prized Camel Cup every July in the Northern Territory. That’s an uncomfortable ride for the jockeys.

After the race, a typical Territorian drinking fest is enjoyed. After all, a man (or a woman) isn’t a camel.


More on CNNGo: Who won last year's Camel Cup and Beer Can Regatta?

6. Cane toad racing

Weekly, Magnetic Island, Queensland

cane toadFat toads can make slow competitors.Even cane toads deserve their 15 minutes of fame. While the loathed creatures are ritually run over and whacked, every Wednesday on Magnetic Island they're put to good use in races.

After being auctioned off and adorned with racing ribbons, the ugly blobs are placed in a Perspex pen in the middle of the arena. Then they’re off for the grand prize.

Every Wednesday night from 7:30 p.m. at the Arcadia Hotel, Marine Parade, Arcadia, Magnetic Island

More on CNNGo: Australia's fight with cane toads

7. Henley-on-Todd Regatta

August 20, Alice Springs, Northern Territory

How do people who live in the middle of the desert have a boat race?

Seemingly inspired by “The Flintstones,” Alice Springs’ residents cut out the hull of their boats and run them down the usually bone-dry Todd River in the city’s premier regatta.


8. Yabbie Race Festival

August, Charleville, Queensland

The Yabbie Race Festival deep in the Australian outback is a much-anticipated event. Before the race, yabbies (freshwater crustaceans) are auctioned off to punters who then race them for the purse.

The yabbie only has to reach the outside of a circular canvas –- about three meters -– but most tend to laze around in disinterest, much to the annoyance of their owners.

9. Not the Birdsville Races

August 31, Birdsville, Queensland

Birdsville RacesMuch more goes on in Birdsville than just the annual races.Around 6,000 tourists and 80,000 cans of beer arrive in the outback town of Birdsville for the annual races.

But for many, the highlight is the “Not the Birdsville Races,” where revelers race wooden horses, moved down the town’s main road by reel and string.


More on CNNGo: The folklore of the Birdsville Races

10. The Scotland Island 500

December 24, Sydney, New South Wales

The 600 or so residents of Scotland Island off Pittwater in northern Sydney catch a ferry across a 600-meter straight to get to the mainland.

But once a year, on Christmas Eve, they row, swim and cajole their pooches as they dog paddle together with their canines, who compete for the annual prize.