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.

Event News

2018 Ratting Day

Report and Photos from Janine Lavarello

Searching for rat and mouse nests Digging for rats and mice.
Searching and digging for rat and mouse nests.
Dead rats On Saturday 2nd June 2018, the weather subsided enough for Ratting Day to take place. This is a traditional day which is only held once a year, it was created as a form of pest control before there was rodent repellent on the island, and made into a competition to add a bit of fun to the day. The day started with the Acting Chief Islander and Agricultural Officer ringing the gong early Saturday morning to notify everyone that it was a suitable day. Soon after, there was lots of activity in the village, men with children following behind assembled in their gangs, ready to head west to the Potato Patches. Later the bus and private vehicles transported the ladies and children in their groups to their holiday huts at the Potato Patches, where they prepared a cook meal for the men after a tiring day hunting rats and mice. Later that afternoon after a rest and refreshments, everyone returned back to the settlement. Team leaders gathered at the Veterinary Clinic at 5:30pm with the tails from their day's catch to be counted and measured. Judging were the Medical, Veterinary and the Agricultural Officers. The Administrator was referee. After the tails had been totalled, the gangs enjoyed some refreshments at island homes before heading to the Prince Philip Hall at 8:30pm. Prizes were presented by the Administrator, followed by a dance to celebrate the day.
Jacks Pieces Gang - winners for the Most Tails and Longest Tail.
Jacks Pieces Gang - winners for the Most Tails and Longest Tail. (L-R): Clive Glass, Ramon Repetto & Shaun Green.
The Second Watron Gang
The Second Watron Gang (L-R) back: Randall Repetto, Karl Hagan, Clifton Repetto, Shane Green, Riaan and Dean Repetto. Centre: Tristan Glass. Front: Darren Repetto and Jack Green


Tails per Man


Longest Tail

First prize:Jacks Pieces43   First prize:Jacks Pieces30cm
Second prize:Coolers42.5   Second prize:Below the Hill29cm
Third prize:Second Watron23.57      

Booby Prize:

Johnny Patch   

Total number of Rats Caught


Full Results

Team Below the Hill Coolers Farm Johnny Patch Old Pieces Second Watron Twitty Patch Jacks Pieces
Total Tails 174 85 8 4 26 165 9 129
Tails per Person 21.75 42.5 4 1.3 6.5 23.57 4.5 43
Longest Tail 29cm 25cm 23cm 25.5cm 27cm 25.5cm 22cm 30cm