Gumboots fly in Finland
SHACKLE, in Sydney, Australia
We'd like to be in Vasteras, Sweden, today (July 1). We'd be watching the
World Gumboot-Throwing Championships.
Lena from Sweden told us about them in this email:
Hello, I'm quite sure that you got this already - but if not:
In the posting about the egg throwers, you mentioned the gumboot throwing
in Taihape [New Zealand].
Well... The World Championship in gumboot throwing this year takes place
in Sweden, Vasteras, 1-2 July 2006. The sport started in Finland many years
ago, and has spread throughout the world - most throwers are found in
Finland, Russia, Estonia, Belgium, Germany and Sweden.
Jouni Viljanen of Finland has the world record for men, with 64 meters
and 35 centimeters. Recordholder amongst ladies is Eeva Isokorpi, Finland,
with 43 meters 27 centimeters, thrown during WC games 2005.
In Sweden this sport is so popular that people have invented funny throws
(between your legs and over your back and neck), thus injuring themselves -
to the extent that doctors have issued warnings about gumboot throwing...
My english is not that good, but I hope you get the idea. And thanks a
lot for your e-book, always great reading!
Cheers! - Lena, Sweden
And cheers to you, Lena, for telling us about this exciting sport. It's
called Wellie-tossing in the UK, since the Brits have dubbed gumboots Wellington
boots, ever since the Duke of Wellington's Allied army gave Napoleon the boot in
the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The duke often wore gumboots, and his fame made
them fashionable. We don't know how much he charged the bootmakers to endorse
Thanks to Lena, we found an interesting Finnish website called
Boot-Thrower's House, the official website of gumboot throwers world-wide,
which has photos and details (in English and Suomeksi) of this weird pastime.
The home page says:
World Cup 2006 will start in Hatsina, Russia, on the 6th May. There will
be competitions in five countries: Germany, Russia, Estonia, Sweden and
In the World Cup there are series for men, women, seniors and teams (men
and women). Your seven best competitions are counted to the final points.
Maybe you will be the next champion who is standing on the podium and get
the precious CUP.