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Author Topic: Splendid Teapot Racing  (Read 3250 times)
Colonel Hawthorne
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« on: March 30, 2015, 04:48:22 am »

My dear colleagues,

Permit me to introduce you to an Antipodean activity that I think will appeal to your sense of the amusing.  It has been percolating in New Zealand for perhaps a year, but the time has come to tell the broader world of its existence and share some of the finer details.

I refer to the fine art of Splendid Teapot Racing.  This activity was created in Dunedin, in New Zealand's South Island, by Simone Montgomery and had its first outing at the 2014 Steampunk NZ Festival in Oamaru.  Capital! Steampunk has just presented a second highly successful race as part of last weekend's CubaDupa festival; some photos appear below.

In a nutshell, Splendid Teapot Racing involves taking the body off a smallish radio-controlled car or truck, attaching a teapot and decorating according to taste.  The race is an obstacle course, comprising perhaps a ramp, a jump or a tunnel but certainly several breakable obstacles - teacups balanced on brass candlesticks or vases.  The key is control rather than power but having said that, the more hopeless the driver, the more the audience enjoys it.  And at the end of the event, if you have time and the competitors are keen, you can have a drag race - clear the course, get all the teapots out at once (radio interference?  Doesn't matter) and see who can get to the other end the fastest.

I won't try to give all the details in this post, but you'll find the general rules here and a guide for organisers here.  Feel free to ask any questions in replies to this post and, if you decide to run a Splendid Teapot Race yourself, we'd love to hear about it.

Carry on.

Stanley - a fine racing teapot, from the stables of Colonel Hawthorne:



A splendid selection of racing teapots awaits the start:



The Salty Sea Dog prepares to set sail:



Tension mounts at the drag race start line:

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Colonel Sir Julius Hawthorne
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http://capitalsteampunknz.org

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Prof. Convict Archfiend
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2015, 06:43:39 am »

Fantastic!!!
 Grin

I know of another gent that is into RC over there, that races demo derbies with full metal RC bodies, and they often have trailer races, and have seen them race a toaster! But for the life of me cannot remember which island her resides on

great to see another love of mine, slide its way into steampunk!!!
Thank you for sharing!!
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Maets
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2015, 01:33:45 pm »

That looks like a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing.
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Rockula
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2015, 01:48:25 pm »

This sport, as far as I can tell, has yet to reach the shores of Britain.

Which is strange.

And should be rectified forthwith.  Wink
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von Corax
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2015, 04:00:58 pm »

Now, how to combine this with Tea Duelling?
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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2015, 07:04:15 pm »

Now, how to combine this with Tea Duelling?

By having a teacup pulled by a teapot. The dunking of the biscuit is only permitted in a limited measured zone say of 3-4 inches or 2-3 seconds.?
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Colonel Hawthorne
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2015, 01:59:22 am »

Now, how to combine this with Tea Duelling?

By having a teacup pulled by a teapot. The dunking of the biscuit is only permitted in a limited measured zone say of 3-4 inches or 2-3 seconds.?

You may be onto something there.  The ATC (Armoured Tea Carrier) Mark 1, the object in the second photo that looks like a tank with a trailer, was in fact designed to tip and pour tea from its pot into the cup on its trailer at the end of the course.  There were some technical issues with the trailer negotiating the jump, for instance, but the actual 'tip and pour' worked flawlessly.  The ATC Mark 1 was awarded the prize for Most Splendid Teapot on the day.

I foresee interesting technical challenges in adding biscuit dunking and timing - the ATC already requires two controllers and hence drivers - but this is steampunk.  Anything's possible.
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Colonel Hawthorne
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2015, 02:05:28 am »

This sport, as far as I can tell, has yet to reach the shores of Britain.

Which is strange.

And should be rectified forthwith.  Wink


I can promise nothing, but keep an eye on this.  Who knows what may transpire?
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Colonel Hawthorne
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2015, 01:06:35 am »

Splendid Teapot Racing now has a website.

Proceed thence for more information on the history of the sport, tips for running an event and, most importantly, more splendid photographs.

Who's going to be the first to run an event outside New Zealand?  Tell us about it here.

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Prof. Convict Archfiend
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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2015, 03:14:22 am »

Nice work on the site!

I'd think it would be great fun to hold a teapot race, but alas, all the RC owners I know all have Race spec, and wouldn't be too keen to put a teapot on there $400-$800+ RC
 Embarrassed
Might find a Steampunk society down here one day, that will be willing to do it
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Argus McJohnsten
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rovingtriker
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2015, 04:01:48 am »

Why did I have to sell off all my r/c trucks and buggies? I would have been more than willing to put a teapot on one of my $400 monsters.
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Colonel Hawthorne
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« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2015, 02:44:49 am »

This topic has been a little quiet of late, but the world of Splendid Teapot Racing continues apace.

We have recently held the national championships as part of the Steampunk NZ Festival in Oamaru, New Zealand's steampunk capital.  I present, for your delectation, the world's greatest ever lineup of racing teapots:



We expected a good lineup and we weren't disappointed!  Fortunately we insisted on entrants registering online before the event, so we were mentally prepared for the 20-plus entries we received.  The main change was the judging became a lot tougher - stray outside the designated racing area and you're disqualified - simply to get through all entries in a semi-reasonable amount of time.

There have now been enquiries about running Splendid Teapot Racing events in other countries - nobody's done it yet (that we know of), but it won't be long.  If you're interested, there are no licence fees or whatnot to bother with; we'd just appreciated you crediting the Countess, Simone Montgomery, for the idea (and send us photos!).  You can find a copy of the rules and an organisers' guide at capitalsteampunknz.org or splendidteapotracing.com.

PS: My own Stanley - he with the tentacle in the foreground of the photo above - blasted through the course in Oamaru in 43 seconds, a new record.  Neither of us is quite sure how we managed it.  Stanley will have one more race, in Christchurch next month, before being put out to stud.  I have one or two ideas for his successor ...
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Banfili
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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2015, 02:58:29 am »

If Stanley does his job, the successor will take care of itself!
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Colonel Hawthorne
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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2015, 03:03:44 am »

That tentacle isn't just for show, you know.
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walking stick
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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2015, 03:55:01 pm »

Suddenly reminded of this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st8-EY71K84

Back on the subject of Teapot Racing
Perhaps a normal tea duel could be set up as part of the obstacle course.
The usual competitors must be seated and display decorum and suitable sang-froid whilst motorised teapots whizz by in all directions.
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frances
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« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2015, 09:42:07 pm »

A most splendid idea.
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Colonel Hawthorne
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« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2015, 01:26:55 am »

I like it.  I shall discuss the matter with my fellow tiffin masters.

Another idea I had is teapot sheepdog trials.  One's teapot would have to round up three 'sheep' (tennis balls?) and herd them into a fenced enclosure.  We haven't tried that one yet.
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von Corax
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« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2015, 05:38:57 am »

I like it.  I shall discuss the matter with my fellow tiffin masters.

Another idea I had is teapot sheepdog trials.  One's teapot would have to round up three 'sheep' (tennis balls?)
Tea balls.

Quote
and herd them into a fenced enclosure.  We haven't tried that one yet.
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walking stick
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« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2015, 03:52:17 pm »

Hope I have this link clear
A splendid costume for the lady's mobility scooter.  A tea duelist who could join the teapot race.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200889105907421&set=a.1259657509052.29703.1758103579&type=1&fref=nf
« Last Edit: July 04, 2015, 05:52:40 am by CPT_J_Percell » Logged
Colonel Hawthorne
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New Zealand New Zealand



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« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2015, 01:31:01 am »

Splendid indeed.

The rules regarding the size of vehicles currently preclude human entrants, but I see no reason not to create a special class if required.  Carry on.
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Bines
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« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2016, 05:20:28 am »

Teapot Racing has made it State Side. Of course, the first batch were promptly thrown into a harbor, but the second wave is doing well. There are races to be watched on YouTube, and there will be a race at All-Con in Dallas, Texas this month. We will be track side.
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Colonel Hawthorne
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« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2016, 07:22:57 am »

Good day to you, Gunner Bines.

Yes, that business about throwing the first racing teapots in the harbour was all a misunderstanding; you chaps had conceived the notion that the idea was English, whereas in fact it was born here in the colonies (it has now made its way back to the Old Country, but it falls to the colonies to drive new developments in the sport).

There's a very active bunch of racers in the US.  If you do that Facebook thing, have a look for 'Splendid Teapot Racing USA'.  The splendid Mr Daniel Lee Hawk is the prime enthusiast in your part of the world, particularly, I understand, on the east coast.

Back here in the home of Splendid Teapot Racing, Capital! Steampunk is looking forward to hosting two days of racing over the weekend of 19-20 March as part of the CupaDupa festival in Wellington.  Our Ramp of Doom and Seesaw of Indecision are built and our course laid out; we await the arrival of the contestants.  It remains to be seen if Teapot Sheepdog Trials will catch on ... reports will follow.

And in the South Island, the first International Championships will be held in the first weekend of June during the 2016 Steampunk New Zealand Fesitval.  We had 24 teapots in attendance last year; this year we anticipate a positive plethora of the things.

Any BG members proposing a visit to these shores are assured of a warm welcome, particularly if they manage to get their racing teapot through Customs.
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frances
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« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2016, 01:02:13 am »

Teapot racing has made it to England.  It has featured on the menu for the past two Surrey Convivial events, last year and this.  I know 'cos I was there.
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Bines
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« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2016, 01:33:11 am »

We saw tea. We got excited. It had gone differently if it were coffee pots.

Hmmm. Glass coffee pot racing. That'd add a new element of injury.
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Colonel Hawthorne
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« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2016, 07:42:44 am »

Teapot racing has made it to England.  It has featured on the menu for the past two Surrey Convivial events, last year and this.  I know 'cos I was there.

Indeed it has, madam, and we're delighted.  The Countess herself hopes to put in an appearance later this year.

Our event in a couple of weeks will feature the Seesaw of Indecision, a concept we have shamelessly stolen from Surrey.
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