What Is Teapot Racing?

Hello everyone. We are now in the middle of March and that means spring is just round the corner now. As well as bringing the warmer weather,  spring also heralds the start of steampunk  convivials, fayres, markets and other days out all across the country.

What goes on at steampunk events?

Mr A and myself are often asked this question.  Most events are based around a daytime market and an evening event. The markets give steampunks the opportunity to sell a vast array of steampunk themed clothing, hats, curios, jewelry, models and other amazing items.  Many of the stallholders sell items that are handcrafted. These items are always beautifully crafted and unique.

Steampunk stalls in a hall with lots of customers browsing

The evening events involve steampunk bands, dancers and other entertainers. There isn’t a specific steampunk style of music, entertainment and dance. Rather steampunks put their own twist on things.

Alongside the market there are often daytime family friendly  entertainment put on. Sometimes the entertainers from the evening shows will perform during the day, but other forms of entertainment are put on as well. This includes many unique steampunk sports such as parasol duelling, tea duelling, coffee jousting and my personal favourite, teapot racing.  This nobel sport involves participants driving a teapot racer around a specially designed obstacle course.

What is a teapot racer?

A teapot racer is basically a teapot mounted on a controllable vehicle. Most often these vehicles will be remote-controlled cars of some sort. Vehicles maybe controlled by one or more drivers. They can have wheels, tracks, legs or they can hover. They cannot however fly (no drone mounted teapots thank you very much).

Six legged robot with a teapot on top
A walking racer designed by Roger Walker

Teapots must be prominently displayed on the racer rather than simply being a small part of the decoration. In addition to teapots racers can have coffee pots, milk jugs or kettles attached. They do not need to be or have ever been able to make a proper cup of tea, but they must look right with a handle, lid and spout.

Mechano covered car driven by a white toy mouse holding a copper teapot
The mechano racer, designed by Rachel White and Andy Dingley

Back last year Mr A entered a teapot racing tournament with  the Oc-Tea-Pus, a racer designed by us but made by my dad.

A teapot racer consistomg of a copper teapot mounted on a tray next to an octopus. Next to a racer with a brown teapot on a radio controlled car
The Oct-Tea-Pus next to a rival racer

This year I decided I wanted my own teapot racer. I was a bit hesitant in making one originally because the only craft I’m really any good at is crochet, and you can’t really have a crochet teapot can you? Well actually it turns out  crochet teapots are quite acceptable so this is the racer I have come up with.

The driver of my teapot racer is called Monty. Based on the esteemed steampunk gentleman Mr Montague Jacques Fromage. The racer is called The  Full  MonTea (because it’s a teapot full of Monty….. )

As you can see from the clip bellow the real life Monty is an old hand at teapot racing, having judged events all the way from New Zealand to the UK.

The Rules of Teapot Racing

You might assume from the clip that there are  few rules when it comes to racing. However this isn’t true. Each teapot racing organisation have their own set of rules  so it’s very important for entries to find out who’s running the event and what their particular rules are. Mr A and myself are members of the Welsh Imperium Teapot Racing Association, based in Chepstow, and these are our rules (based on the rules of the Splendid Teapot Racing of New Zealand)

The rules are divided into different categories :-

1) Size of racer – All racers should be able to fit into a box 30cmx30cmx40cm

2) Appearance of racer – Must be based on a teapot and have the ability to move.

3) Power source – Battery operated unless an event specifically states otherwise.

4) The course – Should be clearly marked out with a start and finish line and obstacles to negotiate in between.

5) Obstacles – May include arches, archways, bridges, bollards, seesaws or moving obstacles .

6) Scoring – Each participant will be timed around the track. Failure to complete an obstacle will result in a penalty being added to the participants time. It should be noted that bribery is deemed an acceptable part of teapot racing, so it maybe possible to ‘distract’ a marshals attention while attempting an obstacle.

This is a very brief rundown of the rules. The full set of rules can be found Here.

Can Anybody Take Up Teapot Racing?

Yes!! The wonderful thing about steampunks is the way they welcome and encourage everyone to join in the fun at events. If anyone fancies having a go the next event being run by the Welsh Imperium Teapot Racing Association will be held at the Shrewsbury Steampunk Spectacular.

The spectacular is being held over the 24th and 25th of March. Teapot racing will ONLY be happening on the 25th. Anybody who wants to join in needs to come to the grounds of St Marys church ar 12 noon.

For those who have time to design and make their own racers brilliant they will be more than welcome to enter. However there will also be a bank of spare racers for anyone who wants to try their hands at teapot driving.

Copper teapot mounted on a perspex base on top of a remote control car
Designed by Nikki Thompson, this racer maybe available for careful lady drivers to use at Shrewsbury

Potential entries shouldnt be worried about not being any good at controlling their racer.  Mr A drove off the stage during his first attempt with the Oc-Tea-Pus, much to the delight of everyone who witnessed it.  The emphasis of teapot racing is on taking part and just having a great time.

In short, teapot racing is a delightfully wacky fun sport that I would encourage everyone to take up. My fellow Chepstow steampunk Sara Long (twitter name @saralOng) designed this fabulous TeaBot poster which gives some handy tips for anyone planning on taking up teapot racing.

Do you think teapot racing could be the sport for you?

Scientific Fact ~ Bloggers feed on blog comments. Please help keep this blogger well fed♡

Thank you, Mrs A Xx

38 Comments

  1. Lisa Pomerantz

    April 3, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Proof positive that everything does in fact exist in this world, if we want it too! Brilliant! #globalblogging xoxo

  2. Crummy Mummy

    March 26, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    This sounds bonkers but so right at the same time! #DreamTeam

    1. hooks_and_dragons

      March 26, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      That pretty much sums it up 😂

  3. Helena

    March 25, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    love the imagination that goes into this #GlobalBlogging

  4. Jacqui

    March 25, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    What a cute idea! Your Teapot driver is the cutest. I tried crocheting once…. We will just leave it there 🙂 #globalblogging

  5. Malin - Sensational Learning with Penguin

    March 24, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Haha this sounds like good fun ☺️ And your Full Montea looks really great! I like the look of a lot of Steampunk stuff, so look forward to learning more about it through your blog posts 😀👍x #LGRTstumble

  6. Annette, 3 Little Buttons

    March 23, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Oh my gosh! I love your Mr Monty – the teapot driver. I’ve never heard of teapot racing before, but it sounds so much fun and really creative if you are making your own little racer! This has put me in the mood for tea ☕️ Thanks for joining us for the #DreamTeam xx

  7. Rhyming with Wine

    March 22, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    Yay! Finally a sport that I feel I could become truly dedicated to! “bribery is deemed an acceptable part of teapot racing” 😂 Definitely my kind of sport right there! Love your crocheted teapot wheels Mrs A. Good luck for the weekend! 😘 x #DreamTeam

    1. hooks_and_dragons

      March 22, 2018 at 5:49 pm

      You have an awesome way with words, you would be a dab hand and steampunk bribery!!

  8. Nicole - Tales from Mamaville

    March 22, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    This is so interesting. I’ve learnt something new today:)
    #LGRTStumble

  9. Michelle Kellogg

    March 22, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Man! I wish we had these events in the states. I would love to go to one and take my boys with me. I think they’d get a real kick out of watching the tea pot racing:) Thanks so much for the #LGRTStumble

    1. hooks_and_dragons

      March 22, 2018 at 5:45 pm

      There are some events in the US but very spread out xx

  10. Sarah Sullivan

    March 21, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Oh my god how cool is that!! x

  11. Anne

    March 21, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    OMG This is just my cup of tea 😀 I must say Steampunk events sounds really great, and the teapot races sound a lot of fun. I bet you get some really competitive people taking part.
    This post has had me grinning 😀
    definitely worth stumbling

    1. hooks_and_dragons

      March 21, 2018 at 3:47 pm

      You should check out any events near you, they are great fun xx

  12. The Modern Father

    March 20, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Okay, this is a new one to me. Yet, not surprised at all. Seems like a great intersection of DIY electronics and culture. Love the crochet work on your entry. Wonder if chocolate teapots would actually find a use in this format? #GlobalBlogging

    1. hooks_and_dragons

      March 20, 2018 at 11:36 am

      Oh my word, that is a very good suggestion

  13. This Scribbler Mum

    March 19, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    Sounds very interesting! Awesome teapot racer! #lgrtstumble

  14. Susie / S.H.I.T.

    March 19, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    Wow, I’d never have thought there was a thing called teapot racing but you learn a new thing everyday! #globalblogging

  15. Becky | Bringing up the Berneys

    March 19, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Haha I love this!! Who knew such a thing existed! I’d love to go watch this!

  16. Liberty Henwick

    March 19, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    This is just so fun!! I love the sense of humour and playfulness all the way through. One of my closest friends here in Ireland is mad into steampunk, she’d love a market like this! Good luck with your Full MonTea crochet teapot entrant 🙂 #LGRTStumble

    1. hooks_and_dragons

      March 19, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      Steampunks really are just big kids xx

  17. Chloe

    March 19, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Hi, as a tea lover I had never heard of tea pot racing until I read your post, it looks like great fun #MMBC

  18. Sarah MumofThree World

    March 19, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    I’ve never heard of teapot racing, but I absolutely loved reading about this!
    Have you read the kids’ book Cogheart? It is brilliant and SO steampunk. I thought of you when I read it!

    1. hooks_and_dragons

      March 19, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      Oh no I haven’t but I will look out for it x

  19. Tracy Albiero

    March 19, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    #lgrtStumble…forgot to add it.

  20. Tracy Albiero

    March 19, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    I have never heard of this. How fun. What a way to be creative!

  21. Sophie

    March 19, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    I’ve never heard of this but it looks like great fun! Loving Monty. #LGRTStumble

    1. hooks_and_dragons

      March 19, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      Monty is cool (real life and mini Monty)

  22. Enda Sheppard

    March 19, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Brilliant stuff … and he will be guaranteed a soft landing!!! Wackily weirdly wonderful #LGRTStumble

    1. hooks_and_dragons

      March 19, 2018 at 11:48 am

      That pretty much sums up steampunk as a whole 😊

  23. Sarah

    March 19, 2018 at 10:32 am

    As a lover of tea, this sounds amazing! #lgrtstumble

    1. hooks_and_dragons

      March 19, 2018 at 10:35 am

      If you love tea you would love tea duelling. It has biscuits and everything

  24. Misa

    March 19, 2018 at 10:14 am

    I’ve heard of tea drinking contests but not teapot racing, and OMG it looks like so much fun! #LGRTSTUMBLE

    1. hooks_and_dragons

      March 19, 2018 at 10:14 am

      It is really great fun, thw worse you are at it the better 😂

  25. Thomas

    March 19, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Love the crocqued teapot Mrs A, looks like great fun to take part in and build!

  26. Star harford

    March 16, 2018 at 9:18 am

    This post is brilliant! I would never in a million years have dreamt tea pot racing is a thing!! I am also so impressed that you managed to crochet a teapot to race! Fantastic, what fun!

    1. hooks_and_dragons

      March 16, 2018 at 9:34 am

      Im sure there will be lots of pics and maybe a post about it all in a few weeks xx

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