THE CHAP OLYMPIAD
Sunday 11th August - 2pm
Britain’s most eccentric sporting event joins the snappily dressed folk at Firle Vintage Fair this year. Not since the days of Bee versus Pigeon Racing during Victorian times will so many befuddled dandies and gin-addled debutantes been gathered together under one parasol to make mockery of the whole idea of sport. For The Chap Olympiad is no ordinary sporting occasion – in fact it isn’t truly a sporting occasion.
Instead of rewarding athletes for breaking a sweat and running around in Lycra sportswear, the events at the Chap Olympiad make a virtue of slipping over on the field at the crucial moment. All the gentlemanly and ladylike disciplines are put to the test, such as sprinting with a cup of tea, tossing a cucumber sandwich and crossing umbrellas with one’s opponent on a bicycle. Never mind whether you can run a mile in a pair of shorts or kick a ball around a field for 90 minutes – if you can’t handle a bowler hat well enough to land it on a hat stand, you simply won’t cut the mustard.
Not so handy with hurling headwear? Then try your hand at Tie Knotting, in which the judges are looking for pleasing knots as well as speed. The acquisition of points, as with most of our events, rely on a subtle interpretation of the rules, displays of panache and elegance – even a spot of underhand skullduggery is overlooked, as long as you make a favourable impression on the judges and the audience.
Guests are invited to take part in as many events as they wish, in fact are positively encouraged to do so. The only stipulation is that, please, no sportswear is to be worn in the Chap Olympic arena.
The Chap Olympiad events, taking place on a dedicated croquet lawn on the Saturday at Firle Vintage Fair, will be:
Umbrella Jousting – two contestants battle it out with unfurled umbrellas while riding bicycles
Cucumber Sandwich Discus – individual contestants hurl a plate with a cucumber sandwich – shortest distance between plate and sandwich wins
Most hats worn while riding a bicycle One contestant rides a bike along a fixed line, wearing as many hats as they can, placed on their head by two stewards.
Most ties knotted in one minute Two contestants stand side-by-side in front of a judge. Two stewards hand them multiple ties while the judge times them on a stopwatch for one minute.
Fastest 100-yard sprint with a cup of tea Six contestants holding cups and saucers full of tea make a dash for the finishing line, placed ten yards ahead of them. The finishing line is a piece of rope held by two stewards.
Most hats tossed on to hat stand One by one, contestants hurl a bowler hat towards a hat stand to try and land it safely on one of the prongs.
Most people smoking one pipe. The Chap Olympic pipe is filled once and passed along a line of up to 20 contestants, who each take one puff and pass it to the next contestant. A judge at the end ascertains whether the tobacco is still lit. The number of contestants is increased with each attempt.