Last week I taped a travel show because hubby and I are considering where we might visit next and some of the destinations looked interesting.
Singleton in Australia is one of the places they visited. It’s in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales and is known for the wife carrying competition.
Wife carrying originated in Finland. The sport is thought to originate from two historic tales. The first is a 19th century legend has it that men stole wives from neighboring villages. In a second tale, an outlaw named Rosvo-Ronkainen made potential soldiers prove themselves in a race where they carried heavy sacks. The result is the wife carrying contest.
The rules are fairly simple: everyone involved must have fun. Competitors don’t have to carry their own wives. Rules state that a participant may carry his own wife, his neighbor’s wife or someone he found “farther afield.” The only stipulation is that the wife must be more than 17 years of age and weigh a minimum of 108 pounds (49 kg). If the wife weighs less than that, she must carry a weighted rucksack to make up the difference. The official length of the track is 831 feet (253.5 meters). The surface of the track includes sections of sand, grass and gravel. There are two obstacles to climb over, as well as a 1-meter- (3.2-feet-) deep water obstacle to wade through.
Last year, Anthony Partridge and Angela Moore, both from Singleton, came fifth in the World Championship with a time of 70 seconds. The world record stands at 55.5 seconds and is held by a couple from Tallinn in Estonia.
There are three methods of carrying a wife – the traditional piggy back, the fireman’s lift and the Estonia lift, which is shown in the video.
Hubby took one took at the screen, he looked at me and then said, “I hope you realize I’d never lift you.”
I said, “I’d never let you carry me around like that.” We looked at each other, grinned and settled back to watch TV. Neither of us have any desire to try the sport.
Would you like to try wife carrying?