Bicycle jousting and butler baiting are among the feats of physical excellence on display at the eighth annual Chaps Olympiad in Bedford Square in London. The burgeoning popularity of the Chaps Olympiad, which started in 2005, meant that this celebration of English eccentricity was forced to gently meander over two days for the first time this year.
Chaps consider themselves a dying breed who wear horn-rimmed spectacles, listen to music on the wireless, wear smoking jackets, cravats, bow ties and give each other tips on moustache growing and getting a proper shine on leather shoes.
The concept of their games is to pay tribute to a time gone by and make a stand against vulgarity, to celebrate the "gentleman" and the "dandy" and take part in some rather eccentric games. Athletes compete for the much-prized title of Chaps Champion – accompanied by the fabled 'golden cravat.'
Appearance is one of the most important aspects of taking part and competors are expected to look their dapper best. Events included Gentleman's Club golf where contestants have to lob a bowler hat into a large fishing net; Butler Baiting, a strange relay; and Ironing Board surfing which involves the contestant being carried atop their ironing board while holding a cocktail which must not spill. In all the disciplines points are also awarded for élan, panache and the maintenance of an immaculate crease. Not winning also scores bonus points.