The Bungendore Show Partner Carrying Challenge
Back for another year at Bungendore Show and bigger and better than ever before.
Wife Carrying originated in Finland, and its history is based around the 19th century legend of Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainen, or “Ronkainen the Robber.” There are three stories as to how the sport was created. First, Ronkainen and his thieves were accused of stealing food and women from villages in the area he lived in; they carried these women on their backs as they ran away. Second, it has been said the men would go to villages near their own to steal other men’s wives, and then have the woman become their own wife. Third is the story that Ronkainen trained his thieves by carrying big, heavy sacks on their backs, which could have eventually evolved to a sport.
The first modern day wife carrying event was held in Finland in 1992 and foreign contestants were admitted in 1995. This event is now held annually in Sonkajärvi, Finland as the World Championship.
Singleton commenced hosting the OAK Australian Wife Carrying Titles in 2005. Since then, the event has grown to become a major highlight of the event calendar for the Hunter. Teams enter the event from all over Australia, including Newcastle, Sydney, Brisbane, Goulburn, Tamworth, Central Coast, Merriwa, Muswellbrook, Stroud, Hawkesbury, Moss Vale, Gunnedah, Lake Macquarie, Templestow (Vic), Cairns, Maitland and of course, Singleton. In the past 10 years, over 130 couples have entered the competition. Eight couples have made the trip over to Finland to represent Australia—and have had a fantastic experience in the process.
Entry Fee $2
- Teammates are not required to be legally married.
- Helmets are not required for the carried competitor. (The Worlds requires a helmet.)
- The only special equipment allowed to be worn by the carrier is a belt, which is optional.
- There is no minimum weight limit for the female competitor. (The Worlds set a weight limit of 49 kilograms / 108 pounds, and weight belts are used to make up any difference in weight.)
- Competitors run the course two at a time in initial heats, with each team being timed. The two fastest teams qualify for a final heat, which may be timed or untimed, with the winner of the final heat being the winner of the event. Because the final heat is determined by time, qualifying teams do not necessarily have to win their initial heat. Additional heats may be run for third place, and so on.
- If a competitor drops his teammate, their team will be penalised with five seconds added to their time.
- Teams may not advance on the course without the wife/partner being carried, and will be disqualified if they do not carry their wife/partner the entire length of the course. Except inline with rule 5 for Bungendore.
- There is no restriction on how the female teammate is carried. Several types of carry are commonly used including the Piggyback and Fireman’s Carry (over the shoulder). However, the most popular is the Estonian Carry in which the wife hangs upside-down with her legs around the husband’s shoulders, holding onto his waist.
- At the Bungendore Partner Carry Challenge, the wife/partner is carried for most of the course, but after the water obstacle, the wife/partner must carry the husband/main carrying partner over the finish line.
- A flat track, approximately 200m in length.
- Course design includes two dry obstacles and one water obstacle, however the specific obstacle designs may vary by year.