Henley-on-Todd Regatta, Australia

Henley-on-Todd-Regatta, Australia © Henley-on-Todd-Regatta

The scorched plains of the Australian outback aren’t exactly a likely candidate for a spot of maritime action, but who needs water to host a boat race?

Certainly not the residents of Alice Springs. The Red Centre’s capital straddles the dry sands of the Todd River, where teams from around the world carry bottomless boats and scuttle down the river bed in the annual Henley-on-Todd Regatta.

The day’s nautical agenda includes a bath tub derby, a boogie board event, kayaking, rowing and an array of alternative sandy adventures.

Dust and dirt have superseded watery waves here since 1962 when the plan to hold a regatta based on the famous Henley-on-Thames was conceived. This year’s race is due to take place on Saturday August 21.

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