Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The 2011 Chap Olympiad

Last weekend saw the return of the satirical Chap magazine annual summer knees-up. Their 'Olympiads' (which I have mentioned briefly before) mix irreverent and bizarre sporting events with the genteel atmosphere of a traditional English garden party. At least, they do when its sunny. Which it was very definitely not this year.

The heavens opened an hour before the event began and, bar one brief hour of respite, it rained throughout the whole day. But, in the great tradition of the British 'stiff upper lip' the Chaps and Chapettes continued with grand resolve and much fun was had. I aided Mr Gustav Temple with the ceremonies and was proud to carry the Olympiad tobacco pipe and then award the medals at the end. The winners were those who had shown the most tenacity and good-sportsmanship at contests like the arduous Moustache Tug-of-War, the high-octane Briefcase Phalanx and the frankly bizarre Shouting at Foreigners.

Although the competitions are delightfully raucous the real pull of the event is the crowd itself. An astute friend pointed out that the Olympiad is one of those rare parties where the men out-dress the women. There was a stunning array of tweed, Raj-era dress uniforms, Shadow-esque evil magicians and blazer-and-boater combos, many of which were complemented by equally adventurous facial hair.

Below are some of my best shots from the day. I would like to thank Gustav and B&H events for kindly inviting me along and I salute all those Chaps and Chapettes who cocked-a-snook at the weather and made the day such fun.

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