The Greasy Pole is a most unique contest indeed. It takes place 200 feet off Pavilion Beach. A forty-five
foot telephone pole is attached to a platform and extends out over the water. A red flag is nailed to
a stick at the end of the pole which is then heavily greased. Then, one by one contestants take their
turn trying to tear off the makeshift flag pole before slipping and and falling into the water. Some
contestants sprint out like racehorses hoping momentum will carry them to the end of the pole. Others
take a very slow approach, one step at a time, always trying to maintain their balance. It is not uncommon
for these daring individuals to come away with scrapes, bruises or even broken ribs.|
round is considered the courtesy round. Nobody is allowed to capture the flag. This allows all contestants
to participate in the event. Once the first round is complete the contest officially begins and each
individual gets his chance to walk. The event usually takes two to four rounds for someone to win but
sometimes it can go as long as six or seven rounds.
Once a contestant captures the flag he then
swims to the beach with all the other contestants. He is then lifted onto to the shoulders of his fellow
walkers and paraded around the town.
The Greasy Pole contest takes place on Friday, Saturday and
Sunday at Pavilion Beach immediately following the Seine boat races.
The Friday and Saturday contest
are for those lucky enough to get their names on the select list of walkers. The Sunday walk is composed
of only of the previous day's winner, past champions and protégés who walk for former champions.