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Blakeney’s annual greasy pole challenge will be held around Tuesday 8th August in 2024. Part of the Blakeney Sailing Regatta, the greasy pole dates back well over a hundred years to 1873 when the prize for winning was a hog.
The day starts at 10am, with tug of war as the tide comes in, then swimming races, then the greasy pole. This is then followed by the gilly catching competition and then finally the sandcastle competition when the tide has gone out! Full day of family fun – all for free.
For the greasy pole, competitors run or walk along a heavily-greased 30ft-long telegraph pole, which is suspended over the seawater, and try to reach its tip while still standing, before plunging into the water at the pole’s far end. Anyone aged 12 or older was eligible to take part and some 50 men, women and children had tackled the pole, with about one in five successfully reaching the end on their feet. Although part of Blakeney Regatta festivities, the greasy pole event was always held in the evening and, for safety reasons, when the tide was a minimum of 8.4m to 8.6m high for this reason dates vary from year-to-year.
Expect a few hundred people to be gathered at the quayside or sat picnicking in boats on the water to enjoy the spectacle.