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, 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 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 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 three Lions Clubs of the Darwin region, to promote tourism in the Northern Territory, raise funds for charitable purposes, and promote Lionism.
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