What ho! The Chap Olympiad 2012

by Katie on July 8, 2012

It was that time of year again. The sky was grey, the rain poured (like the gin), the picnic hampers were unpacked (this time under canopies, thank the lord for B&Q) and the games began. While we are inundated with ‘limpix’ flags and pre-hype and tourists everywhere in Londonium, these were the much more interesting, fabulously dressed, antics and bad behaviour encouraged games where one is more likely to be disqualified for, well, winning and sportsmanship.

The Chap Olympics this year is a two day affair – which means double the chance to be rained on and exposed to Chap flirtation and general naughtiness. And that is the substance of The Chap Olympiad – fun, flightiness, flirtiness and general shenanigans associated with booze and the attitude, “we’ll all have a jolly good time and pick the winner from who we think should have won,rather than did.” I like that approach. A Britain’s men’s Wimbledon finalist would have skated a Wimbledon Grand Slam more times than we could shake a stick at if this were the presiding norm. 

There was a Tyrrells sponsored area with the most well dressed and polite chaps in school caps, sauntering around Bedford Square handing out English Barbecue crisps, typically mid-rain shower. There was a Queen Victoria alike, lots of stunning ’40’s and ’50s outfits, chaps in boaters and tweed and the (much maligned and generally abhorred) crew with the fake stick-on moustaches. There’s no need for fake when the real is so easy to achieve.

The Chap Olympiad has a huge following at home and abroad so by the time this is published (on day 2 of the Olympiad) there will be, no doubt, lots of international coverage spotlighting just how kooky and eccentric these English folk are. The most positive fact is that so may are young and genuinely into having fun albeit it well-dressed, incredibly stylish, polished and perfected. The fakesters in all this are easily recognisable (cue fake moustaches and well-brandished unlit pipes) but the real Chaps & Chapesses take this as seriously as a heart-attack – only clutching gin, Pimms or Cava and with much more gusto.

Games were typically Chappist and what we can only expect from Mr Gustav Temple and his able crew of dashing devotees: Butler Baiting (which actually became more like bashing), Ironing Board Surfing, Swooning, Not Playing Tennis (my favourite, where the ennui was visible amongst the competitors), The Briefcase Phalanx, Umbrella Jousting and Shouting At Foreigners, the latter always over-subscribed as it’s something we all still do rather well (especially pre East London Limpix).

Despite the dull gid-sapping weather, the mood was Chappist jolly with lots of the regular Chaps and New Sheridan Club members making it a day to remember. Even the lovable rogue, Mr Edward Marlowe, won a gold shiny medal as leader in his field, which, thinking about it, we’re still trying to fathom but think it’s for being a generally lovely, witty Northern Irish fellow with caddish inclines. Which is only fitting after all. Mr Temple and his team knows where it’s at.

Pictures of The Chap Olympiad 2012 by Katie Chutzpah and Suzanne Coles.

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