What ho! Perfectly poised between the orgasm of patriotism that was the Jubilee and the sporting behemoth that will be the Summer Olympics, Chap Olympiad 2012 arrives this weekend in a blaze of tweed and stiff upper lips.
This legendary event which prizes panache over sporting prowess has been doubled in size this year with events now happening on both Saturday and Sunday. Typical for a country which invented darts, snooker and bowling, many of the events require the minimum of physical exertion. Games we are looking forward to include the Pipeathlon where competitors must stylishly travel a distance of thirty yards while maintaining a fully lit pipe, and Swooning in which the first male competitor to make his chappess faint wins. This was won in 2011 by a chap proposing marriage (a low blow in our books).
More energetic chaps will be seen Umbrella Jousting (with bicycles replacing steeds and brollies and the Daily Telegraph in place of lances) while the more curmudgeonly will be in their element during the Butler Baiting and Shouting At Foreigners games. Referees will be on the lookout for ungentlemanly conduct; last year, one contestant was caught with a healthy salad and a bottle of water on his person.
Non-combatants are encouraged to turn up in period dress and join in the fun by politely clapping, shouting encouragements (we recommend “bravo!” and “I say!”) or enjoying some old-fashioned entertainment like radio plays, country fair side-shows and lawn games. Chaps and chappesses can slake their thirst throughout both days with cocktail specialists Bourne and Hollingsworth serving their trademark creations alongside beer, wine and soft drinks.
Londonist coverage of Chap Olympiads past can be seen here.