Monday, 30 October 2006

One for the diary

I unaccountably missed the European Beard and Moustache Championships which took place last month in Germany, hosted by Der Ostbayerische Bart- und Schnauzerclub.

There was competition in all categories:
Schnauzbart: Naturale, Englisch, Dali, Kaiserlich, Ungarisch, Freistil
Kinn- und Backenbart: Naturale, Chinese, Musketier, Kaiserlich, Freistil, Kinn
Vollbart: Verdi, Garibaldi, Naturale, Freistil

The first World Championships were held in Höfen/Enz, Germany, in 1990. I shall certainly not miss next year’s, which will be hosted by the Handlebar Club of London on 1st September at The Brighton Centre. Details here.

As with so many other major world sports, we English led the way in early days—the Handlebar Club celebrates its sixtieth anniversary next year and claims to be the oldest club of its kind—but nowadays we are often outclassed; Germany won gold in 14 of the 17 categories in the 2005 World Championships and Beard Team USA will be strong contenders next year in Brighton, though they seem to have a certain lack of gravitas which may count against them.

I am sure that the distinguished Swedish photographer Tobias Nilsson will not mind me reproducing here this excellent photo. It shows Heinz Christophel of the Palatinate Beard Club who travelled from Germany to the New York City Beard and Moustache Championships last May and came first in the Full Beard Freestyle category.

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