Tristan da Cunha Ratting Day
Ratting Day is the annual tradition when teams of Tristan da Cunha men compete to rid the Potato Patches of rats.

2017 Ratting Day

Report and photos from Tina Glass and Dawn Repetto

The traditional Ratting Day, which is held once a year, was announced on Friday 26 May 2017 at around 7:15am. The fishing gong was rung by Chief Islander Ian Lavarello, Acting Agriculture Officer Martin Green and Dereck Rogers. The morning started off with rain but then turned out to be a lovely sunny day.

Digging out the rats
Digging out the rats
Dogs hunting for rats
Dogs hunting for rats
Rats are close
Rats are close
Even the children know what to do
Even the children know what to do
Dead rats

Soon there was lots of activity in the village and everyone that was taking part meet up in their gangs and headed out to the Potato Patches. The bus and private vehicles were used to transport women and children in their team gangs to the camping huts at the patches were they prepare a cook meal. After lunch in the late afternoon everyone return back to the Settlement.

The highlight of the day is when the tails are counted to see which teams have won. Counting took place at the Veterinary Clinic; the judges were Dr Martin, Veterinary Officer Joe Hollands and Dereck Rogers with Administrator Sean Burns as referee.

Outside the clinic waiting for the rat count
Outside the clinic waiting for the rat count
Rat tail counting by Derek Dr Martin and Joe the vet
Rat tail counting by Derek Dr Martin and Joe the vet
Counting tails
Counting tails
Measuring the longest tail
Measuring the longest tail
Prizegiving outside the vet clinic
Prizegiving outside the vet clinic
Group photo of winning teams
Group photo of winning teams

After the presentation of prizes the gangs had some refreshments at island homes and a dance followed in the Prince Philip Hall to celebrate the day.

Winners

Tails per Man

 

Longest Tail

First prize:Second Watron41.3   First prize:Below The Hill31.1cm
Second prize:Coolers34   Second prize:Old Pieces25.2cm
Third prize:Below The Hill27    
 

Booby Prize:

Farm   

Total number of Rats Caught

399

Full Results

TeamBelow the HillCoolersFarmJohnny PatchOld PiecesSecond WatronTwitty Patch
Total Tails135680251412433
Tails per Person2734012.52.841.35.5
Longest Tail31.1cm24.5cm-24.1cm25.2cm24.7cm23.9cm