Wok racing has been developed by the German TV host and entertainer Stefan Raab: Modified woks are used to make timed runs down an Olympic bobsleigh track. There are competitions for one-person-woksleds and four-person-woksleds, the latter using four woks per sled.

Wok Racing
Wok WM 2006 SEAT-Hackl-4er-Wok-Team im Zieleinlauf (cropped).jpg
Georg Hackl's four-person woksled during the Wok World Championship 2006 in Innsbruck
First played2003
Characteristics
Team membersTeams of 1 or 4
TypeWinter sport, Time trial
EquipmentWok
VenueBobsleigh tracks

HistoryEdit

Wok racing was inspired by a bet in the German TV show Wetten, dass..?. In November 2003, the First official Wok World Championship was broadcast from Winterberg. The immediate success led to the second world championship in Innsbruck on March 4, 2004. Participants are mostly b-list celebrities like musical artists, actors, and TV hosts, but there are also known athletes that have ongoing professional careers in winter sports, like three-time Olympic luge champion Georg Hackl and the Jamaican Bobsled Team. The third championship took place again in Winterberg on March 5, 2005. In contrast to the previous championships, there were two runs in which all contesters participated. The times of both runs were added. As a further innovation a qualifying round was created in which the participants had to jump from a trickski-jump with woks to determine the starting order. Further the sport event was professionalized.

EquipmentEdit

The typical racing woks are the ordinary round-bottomed Chinese pans, usually directly imported from China. The only modifications are that the bottom is reinforced with an epoxy filling and the edges of the wok are coated with polyurethane foam to avoid injuries. Four-person woksleds consist of two pairs of woks, each of them is held together by a rounded frame. The two pairs are connected by a coupling. Due to the rather risky nature of the sport the participants wear heavy protective gear, usually similar to ice hockey equipment. To further reduce friction and the risk of injuries, the athletes wear ladles under their feet.

To improve performance, the undersides of the woks are often heated with a blowlamp before the race.

Advertising controversyEdit

Public wok Racing is only practiced once a year: The "World Wok Racing Championships" (German: Wok-WM, German pronunciation: [ˈvɔk.veːˌɛm], lit. Wok Worldcup) are aired as special edition of Raab's show TV total on the German television channel ProSieben. The network used to declare these broadcasts as sporting events. Under German law that allowed the network to treat the massive corporate sponsorship of the event as incidental advertising which didn't count against Germany's strict rules regarding time limits for TV commercials. After a Berlin court ruling in 2009, however, the shows have to be labeled as an infomercial, since – unlike a regular sporting event – the races are explicitly staged for the TV broadcast, and there is strong evidence that the profits of the event sponsorship directly benefit the network.[1]

World Wok Racing ChampionshipsEdit

VenuesEdit

  •   November 6, 2003: Winterberg
  •   March 4, 2004: Innsbruck
  •   March 5, 2005: Winterberg
  •   March 11, 2006: Innsbruck
  •   March 9, 2007: Innsbruck
  •   March 8, 2008: Altenberg
  •   March 7, 2009: Winterberg
  •   March 19, 2010: Oberhof
  •   March 12, 2011: Innsbruck
  •   March 10, 2012: Königssee
  •   March 2, 2013: Oberhof
  •   March 8, 2014: Königssee
  •   March 14, 2015: Innsbruck

RankingEdit

One-person WokEdit

 
Stefan Raab and Georg Hackl at the Wok-WM 2008
Year Gold Silver Bronze
2003   Stefan Raab   Joey Kelly   Detlef Soost
2004   Georg Hackl   Joey Kelly   Stefan Raab
2005   Georg Hackl   Stefan Raab   Joey Kelly
2006   Joey Kelly   Georg Hackl   Stefan Raab
2007   Georg Hackl   Joey Kelly   Stefan Raab
2008   Georg Hackl   Christian Clerici   Joey Kelly
2009   Georg Hackl   Felix Loch   Joey Kelly
2010   Georg Hackl   Joey Kelly   Christian Clerici
2011   Georg Hackl   Felix Loch   Lucy Diakovska
2012   Georg Hackl   Lucy Diakovska   Joey Kelly
2013   Georg Hackl   Lucy Diakovska   Armin Zöggeler
2014   Joey Kelly   Georg Hackl   Armin Zöggeler
2015   Armin Zöggeler   Georg Hackl   Joey Kelly

Four-person WokEdit

Year Team Drivers
2003 Dick Brave and the Backbeats Sascha Schmitz, Andre Tolba, Felix Wiegand, Martell Beigang
2004 ProSieben team Ralf Zacherl, Stefan Gödde, Dominik Bachmair, Simon Gosejohann
2005 ProSieben team Joey Kelly, Stefan Gödde, Charlotte Engelhardt, Lukas Hilbert
2006 Fisherman's Friend team Sandra Kiriasis, Christoph Langen, Silke Kraushaar, Susi Erdmann
2007 SEAT team Sven Hannawald, Susi Kentikian, Christina Surer, Markus Beyer
2008 Frosta team Christoph Langen, Susi Erdmann, Silke Kraushaar, Felix Loch
2009 TV total team Stefan Raab, André Lange, Axel Stein, Björn Dunkerbeck
2010 TV total team Stefan Raab, André Lange, Axel Stein, Björn Dunkerbeck
2011 Babybel team Sandra Kiriasis, Tatjana Hüfner, Manuel Machata, Christoph Langen
2012 TV total team Stefan Raab, Felix Loch, Manuel Machata, Tim Lobinger
2013 TV total team Stefan Raab, Felix Loch, Manuel Machata, Steffen Henssler
2014 Otelo team Seldwyn Morgan, Hanukkah Wallace, Marvin Dixon, Wayne Blackwood
2015 Europa Versicherungen/Österreich team Markus Prock, Ulrike Kriegler, Marc Pircher, Janine Flock

RecordsEdit

Speed recordsEdit

One-Person-Wok
Place Speed in km/h Holder Year
Innsbruck 91.70 Georg Hackl 2007
Altenberg 81.80 2008
Winterberg 105.40 2009
Oberhof 69.40 2010
Königsee 88.20 2012
Four-Person-Wok
Place Speed in km/h Holder Year
Winterberg 114.3 Elton & Friends 2009
Innsbruck 97.00 FROSTA 2006

Course RecordsEdit

One-Person-Wok
Place Time in seconds Holder Year
Winterberg 47.621 Georg Hackl 2005
Innsbruck 54.840 2007
Four-Person-Wok
Place Time in seconds Holder Year
Winterberg 57.117 TV total 2005
Innsbruck 52.527 Fisherman's Friend 2006

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Gerichtsurteil: Schleichwerbung bei Stefan Raabs "Wok WM" - Nachrichten Fernsehen - WELT ONLINE". Die Welt. December 12, 2008. Retrieved April 1, 2012.