At Trouvllle, whero one gats so weary every morning of the bad hoar or two that ODmea between the bath and luoch, any innovation calculated to pass away the time la hailed with delght, and the person sacgestlng It h conßibsred worthy of the Cross of the Legion of Honor. Rome eight years ago, when every one on the beeoh was yawping over the mornIng papetß, tomts geaios thought of raclnq with orabs, and In two dnya it beoame the Btaudard morning amusement. Evary one was bunting for a crab. Size waa noorjeot ; speed and agility were the requisite qualifications. The track wis on the wet, firm sand, close to the wa^er, md the goal wbi formed by pegging do *n at the water's edga a oord about fifty feet In length, rafted by pegs about two inohes above the s%ad, so that the orate oonld paisa under the line ia plaoe of breasting It. The starting- point waa aboot twelve yards Inland, and was a lino tightly pegged down level with the sand, the owners distinguishing their individual crabs by sticking differently- oolored wafers on their backs. Each orab was held by its owner olear of the starting point until (the word was given ; then they were simultaneously released, and a most oarious sight ensued. Every crab would start for the water at top speed, sidling along for dent life, Some want as straight as an arrow ; othera diverged In all direction.*. Oc oasionally two weald run side by side, touch, ollnoh, »nd fight, grasping naoh other by their clawe, looked In an embrsc that nothing bat the rising tide would release. Ochers would go right away, moving more and more qu'okly the neitor they approached the water until sidling under the tape, one or another would wio. No one was allowed to tcush his crab after the atart ; bat as experience proved that water would separate the fighters, It became permissible to hold a soßked iponge over them and rqueeze the water on the combatants. This game became to prevalent th*t sppo'ally sm'Oth trecks were made every morning by the beaoh men, and if » phenomenally fleet orab was diroovcred, he was not allowed to return to his native e'ement with a single victory to his credit, bat was whipped up with a small net, and deposited In a pall for safe keeping ant 11 required to ran again. Betting was the order of the day, and books were made as fur a horserace. There Is a record of one orab having won for his owrer no less than five thousand pounds before he slipped under the net and escaped, In ull probability anoonsolcai of his fame.
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CRAB RACING., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1998, 16 November 1888
CRAB RACING. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1998, 16 November 1888
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