Bottle Boat

Can the City Slickers steal the Top End’s glory?


Every July the madcap mariners of Darwin race vessels made of empty beer cans across the waters of Mindil Beach to raise money for the Lions Clubs of Darwin, in the annual Darwin Beer Can Regatta. More than 15,000 people attend, creating a spectacle featured on television news bulletins around the world. 

However, in 40 years of racing, no crew from outside the Northern Territory has ever challenged the locals for the prize. Until now.

With the generous backing of JetStar’s wine partner, Kooks, a team of Sydney city-slickers named ‘Fat Paddlers’ are currently building a high-tech boat made from thousands of reclaimed Kooks’ PET wine bottles.

Mid-2015, the crew will trek the 4,000km overland from Sydney to Darwin, in their audacious attempt to beat the locals on Sunday 12 July. A documentary is being made of their journey which will screen on the National Geographic Channel the following year. How good is that? You can follow their adventure check out

Photo Credit: Maddison Pitt

Share this page