SYDNEY, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- A waterless boat race caused quite a splash over the weekend in Australia, with 4,500 visitors attending the extremely quirky event.
In its 56th year, the Henley on Todd Regatta began near Alice Springs as a humble charity fundraiser and has developed into an international tourist attraction.
"It all started with a guy named Reg Smith back in the 60s," Dale McIver, marketing manager of Henley on Todd Regatta, told Xinhua on Tuesday.
"He was a member of the Rotary Club (charity organization) and they were sitting around one day trying to work out what would be a fun and crazy idea to do a bit of fundraising, and dear old Reg came up with this idea of boat racing in the middle of the Australian outback."
With 13 different racing categories including yachts, rowing, kayaks, as well as tug-of-war and sand shuffling, McIver said it's "a bit of anything you can come up with for a bit of fun and imagination on a river bed with no water in it."
"Until people come and see it, it's a bit hard to grasp the concept of people running in bottomless boats in a dry river bed," McIver said.
"I think they're shocked and amazed and they can't stop laughing more than anything."
In the day's main attraction, the Battle boat spectacular, three teams went to war with colored flour bombs and water cannons in elaborate four wheel drive vehicles decorated as ships.
After a 15 minute battle, the audience chose the Vikings as the winners, narrowly beating the Navy and the Pirates.