Bizarre Festivals

Published on February 15th, 2012 | by Adrian Simpson


The Braunlage Naked Sled Race

The bare faced cheek of it.

The thing about clothes is they’re actually pretty useful. They can make some people look more attractive, they can make some people look slimmer, they can stretch, shorten, widen and hide pretty much anything you want them to. In short, they make us look better. So, when you get a situation in which a lot of people have taken their clothes off in one space all at the same time, the cumulative effect on your sensibilities can be anywhere from nausea to complete anaphylactic shock. There are people who make a career out of being naked and there’s a good reason why most of us cannot.

Well, this was how I felt about group nudity until I discovered possibly the most impressive excuse for mass nakedness mixed with sport that I have ever come across; The Naked Sled Race. In the course of my working life I have had cause to visit Naturist Camps and witnessed firsthand how harrowing and distinctly unappealing something like naked Table Tennis can be for the spectator. As things slap, wobble and shudder about, the crowd winces and covers their eyes almost as if the competitors were being eaten by lions. The Naked Sled Race, however, is not only a true test of hardiness and gritty spirit but such is the media appeal of an event like this, that to be frank some of the naked people are pretty good looking. And I’m not going to lie; that counts.

The event's history:

The event is hosted in the village of Braunlage in the Harz region of Germany and was started back in 2009. In three short years this annual celebration of nudity and fun has exploded with 17,000 people descending on the resort in 2011 to watch and the race this year on Saturday the 18th February is almost certain to smash those numbers. Anyone can register to race the 89m course; however, you will have some comfort and protection thanks to a crash helmet, shoes and some nice pants of your own choosing.

What to expect:

For anyone who can make the trip over to Braunlage it’s going to be an all day party with bands and entertainment right into the night. And then there’s the money. If you fancy stripping off and sending yourself careering down a ski slope to the delight of fully clothed masses, you could win the ultimate prize of 1000 Euros. And as this year is promising to be an even bigger spectacle, race organisers are encouraging spectators to vote for who they would like to see race naked and suggest maybe even a ‘hated boss’ or ‘sexy girlfriend’. Although quite how you make the leap from voting to actually seeing them naked on a sled is anyone’s guess, maybe they’re not too bothered about infringing human rights.

This year organisers are very excited about the participation of one Marcus Schenkenberg a Calvin Klein pants model and star of the 1988 film epic, Meatballs and Macaroni. Let’s just hope there’s not a racing sled mishap and we end up seeing his meatballs and macaroni. For those interested in seeing some of the racing live, Chillisauce is working to bring a live stream player to the blog so you can organise your own naked sled parties and not miss a minute of the action. Butt action.

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About the Author

Adrian Simpson

Adrian Simpson is a writer and TV presenter with a profound love of the outdoors. His family, snow, sea, brewing, vinyl, guitars and VW buses mean the world to him.

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