Compiled and Edited by E.Z. Pace, Member DMC
Who needs the excitement . . . the danger . . . and expense of Formula 1 racing . . . or horse racing . . . or running with bulls? We don’t. There are alternatives. There are calmer races that we get our adrenaline rushes from and want to tell you about.
We've arranged the races on the order of speed. There are some close calls, however. For example, book carts and shopping trolleys probably race at about the same speed.
■ The British Ferret Club
This is the Official British Ferret Club Website, a website with tons of information for ferret lovers.
The British Ferret Club was established in 2000. Its purpose is to bring together people who rear ferrets with respect and affection. Its membership covers huge areas of the British Isles.
You can become a member of the club. Membership entitles you to a trice-yearly newsletter, free entry to the members’ class at all of the club’s shows, and advice on many ferret issues. This advice includes things like ferrets diets, claw clipping, and ear cleaning.
Caution: this website has music, mostly a tuba and drums. The music is a little too bouncy for dull men. You may want to turn down the volume on your computer when viewing this website.
Ferret Racing in Longstock, Hampshire
Rules for Racing Ferrets
This page of the Official British Ferret Club website has the rules for Ferret Racing. Dull men like rules – especially these ferret rules as they are so practical. For example, one of the first rules is that you need someone to start the race. That rule makes a great deal of sense. You also need someone to record the race results, another sensible rule.
The race courses consist of three pipes of equal length. Ferrets run through the pipes. The rules say the pipes can be any color. We recommend gray or beige. You may have some not dull members involved, however, who may prefer brighter colors. Perhaps you can request gray pipes for your ferrets, let others use the brighter pipes.
It is recommended that, to have enough competitors to make the race a race, there should be from 9 to 21 ferrets entered in the race.
The Romans, who used ferrets to hunt rabbits, brought ferrets to Britain in the first century AD. Since then ferrets have been used to control not only rabbits but also rodents. Because of their smaller size, ferrets proved to be better than cats for hunting rodents on ships.
In the twelve century, only the noble born were allowed to hunt rabbits for food. In 1390 a law was passed restricting ownership of ferrets to persons with income great than forty shillings per year in order to prevent the working classes from using ferrets to poach rabbits.
Ferrets throughout history are shown on this website. The picture above is “The Ermine Portrait of Queen Elizabeth the First.” Below is a picture by Leonardo Da Vinci, “Lady Ermine.” Painted something between 1485 and 1490.
Watching in You Tube — from Japan
This is an unbelievably exciting race to watch. The goldfish go through formations that reminded me of watching the Red Arrows.
Watching the race on You Tube is a safe way to watch gold fish racing – you won’t be splashed with water. I enjoy watching this video clip over and over again.
This website is a source for equipment for your next gold fish race — eight-feet long clear acrylic racing lanes, starting gates, and of course goldfish:
Cruel to Goldfish?
As reported in Openweb, on this website, the Humane Society of Utah’s executive director Gene Baierschmide says, “We believe that animals have feelings like we do and they want to enjoy life. They can feel pain and feat and so we think when something like this happens, it can make people feel possible unsympathetic to abuse of other life forms.”
This website also reports that there talk in Britain of goldfish races being shown on TV and bookmakers providing nationwide betting facilities.
Will the cruelty, if any, be remembered by the goldfish? Don’t fish have extremely short memories, like only a few seconds? Perhaps goldfish remember longer than that. Recent research, reported in The Daily Telegraph, indicates that, if you think fish forget everything in three seconds flat, think again. The research suggest that fish can store memories for months.
Hamster racing is typically done with hamsters riding in miniature racecars that speed down a straight 30 foot race course. The record time is 38 seconds.
Hamster racing took off in a big way in 2001 when foot and mouth disease hit Britain causing cancellation of horse races. To boost income from betting, the concept of professional hamster racing was introduced.
Sponsored by the British Lawn Mower Racing Association
The BLMRA was founded in 1973 at the Cricketers Arms in Wisborough Green, West Sussex. The founders, having become disillusioned with the ever-increasing cost of auto racing, wanted to provide a motorsport that would be economically accessible to everyone.
Looking out across the village green a window at the Cricketers Arms, they watched a green keeper mowing the cricket pitch. They immediately realized that practically everyone has a lawnmower – little or no incremental cost would be incurred if, after the mowing the lawn, they raced their lawnmowers. Lawn mower racing was born.
They succeeded: lawnmower racing has been described by Motor Sport News to be “the cheapest form of motor.
The Royal Pigeon Racing Association has been around for over a century. The association’s roots go way back to 1896 when, on 28 March, a meeting of pigeon keepers was held at the White Swan in Leeds. They formed the National Homing Union.
This organization subsequently received Royal patronage and became the Royal National Homing Union. The name was later changed to the Royal Pigeon Racing Association (RPRA).
The Royal family continues to be associated with pigeon racing. The Queen’s Royal Lofts are at Sandringham; they are under the supervision of Loft Manager Carlo Napolitano.
The RPRA have about 60,000 members, an annual turnover of £1.2 million. It has offices in Cheltenham and Welshpool.
The RPRA hold an annual show in Blackpool that draws pigeon fanciers from all over the world.
They can say whatever they want about gold fish racing being cruel to the gold fish, but similar comments can never be said about rubber duck racing. The rubber ducks love it. It gets them out of their boxes and into the water.
■ The Great British Duck Race
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The record breaking Great British Duck Race on the Thames at Hampton Court on 2 September 2007 was something to behold indeed. Now, with the internet, if you missed it, you can still behold it.
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With 165,000 rubber ducks participating and raising half a million pounds for charities, this race smashed the Guinness World Record for the World’s Biggest Charity Duck Race. The record had previously been held by Singapore.
Duck Racing in The Wallops
May 8, 2007
I see that you dull men are fans of duck racing. I should let you know that duck racing is not a sport that is limited to big cities like London and Singapore. A duck race will be held in the village of Over Wallop on Monday 28th May:
Nether Wallop, Hampshire
There's a nice website with 19 pictures of racing shopping trolleys, click here to get to it.
The Sun (U.K.) had an article a few years back, "He's off his trolley," about racing motorized shopping trolleys. But is this cheating? Isn't this Extreme Shopping Trolley Racing? Probably too fast for us dull men.
World Championships at Congham, Norfolk
The World Snail Racing Championships are held each year at Congham, near King’s Lynn in Norfolk. This has been going for more than 25 years.
Congham is to snail racing what Silverstone is to Formula 1 racing and Newmarket is to horse racing. The championships were started in the 1960s by Tom Elwes.
Congham is particularly suited for these world championships. Snails like damp conditions. Conham, sitting in a low-lying area surrounded by ponds, is damp.
A new world record was set on July 15, 2006. Archie, a snail owned by six year-old Emma Hartley of Castle Acres, covered the 13 inch racecourse in two minutes and 20 seconds.
Like Archie, many snail racers are children. Children make better snail trainers than adults. Children make pets of their snails; they let them crawl all over their arms, legs, and faces. Children take snail racing seriously – when nine year-old Thom Vincent won the championship s a few years ago he said, “I have achieved my lifetime’s ambition.”
London's First Snail Race
BBC, in an article “Ready, Steady, Escargot,” covered the first professional snail race in London. The race took place at the O’Conner Pub in December 1999.
Ten snails competed. After starting off when they heard, “ready, steady, slow,” they raced antenna to antenna to the finish line.
John McCririck, race commentor, said, “It’s always difficult to study the form with snails because they hide inside their shells – but it’s actually much easier to comment on the race because it’s slower than horse racing.”.
Slugs, like snails, are gastropods, The only difference appears to be that slugs lost their shells.
Snail and Slug Speeds
This website has a fascinating list speeds of snails and slugs. There’s the observation,“ A large banana slug has been observed to cover 6.5 inches in 120 minutes. At that rate, a tortoise would seem fleet-footed.”
All About Snails
Do you want to know about the world’s largest snail . . . how to know whether a snail is male or female . . . how snails court? If so, then this is the website for you.
Trabants, or "Trabies," is a stubborn survivor of the former East Germany. Over 50,000 thousand of them are still on the roads in Germany.
FAQs about Trabants:
How do you double the value of a Trabant? Full up its petrol tank.
Why should Trabants have heated rear windows? To keep your hands warm while you push it.
Why doesn’t a Trabant have seat belts? It might be mistaken for a rucksack.
Those Wonderful Sounds from a Trabi, click here [looking for this now on the web, our fomer link to these sounds no longer works: http://www.trabi-safari.de/e61/e162/e198/trabbi_ger.mp3
Are these turtles cheating?
Cross Junction, Virginia
Brennan's Pub, Marina del Rey, California
"Home of Turtle Racing"
For over 30 years, turtle races have been held at Brennan’s Pub in Marina Del Rey, California.
World's first turtle race:
Terrapin Derby at Miller's 101 Ranch, Kay County Oklahoma — 1924-1931
Website: click here
The first Terrapin Derby at Miller’s 101 Ranch in Kay County, Okalahoma in 1924. (A terrapin is a small turtle that if found in certain parts of the U.S.) Colonel Joe C. Miller came up with the idea while watching three terrains crawling fast across his dirt yard to get out of the sun. Col. Joe organized them into races. The races grew, eventually thousand of turtles entered. Prize money reached into the thousands of dollars, but sums in those days.
These races ended in 1931 when the Post Office Department ruled that the derby was a lottery and banned advertising of it through the mail. That, coupled with the hard time of the depression years, put an end of the derby.
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