Some comments I posted on Imladris about my day at the bathtub race seem to be popping up elsewhere on fan sites. So I took them and edited them into a proper article for anyone who might be interested in using it, rather than just copying and pasting my comments which contain a lot of irrelevant material, and quite a few mistakes as they were hurriedly put together. Feel free to shorten, paraphrase or re-order this as you like.
Attached are some photos I took too: not as good as some of the professional ones, but they might be useful to you. I could only attach 3 photos: I'll send a second email with the other two.
Bath Tub Race -- Sharon
Well, I'm back from the race and so much to tell! I got there at about 11:30 and did a tour looking for likely characters but saw nothing. I eventually decided that the best plan was to keep an eye on the media, as they would likely know something I didn't. So I ended up in exactly the right place at the right time when I saw a short chap being interviewed by TV. I raced over and got my autograph paper ready and listened in: he was saying how much fun he was having, and how he was enjoying surfing in NZ etc. I said "hey Dominic, can I have your autograph for my friend Josephina?" He said "sure!" and promptly signed: "Josephina, lots of love, Billy Boyd". Oops. I made the mistake as Billy's now blond, whereas
the pictures on the net show him dark haired. The perils of being half-famous, I guess. People want your autograph but aren't quite sure who you are . . . He has a lovely accent. I asked him if we'd hear it in the movie but he said he couldn't tell me. I got him to sign an autograph for me too. To my horror, the news crew filmed him signing for me and then interviewed ME! (as the rabid fan representative) despite my protestations. But luckily it turned out that I got cut from the news footage (not hysterical enough, obviously), so all my friends didn't get to laugh at my expense after all.
After that bit of excitement I sat down where the bath tub races were going to start and soon saw our four stars clowning around. I took a lot of photos. It was quite embarrassing: all the other fans were about 14 years old and just screaming about movie stars; I don't think any of them knew a thing about Tolkien or cared at all. But for you guys, I put up with this
ritual humiliation . . . I tell you, what was really neat is that they were all obviously really good friends, and really comfortable with each other. There were arms round each other for photos, big smiles, lots of jokes etc.
They were obviously having heaps of fun. As for the bathtub race itself: well, Orlando and Dominic fell out pretty much straight away. Elijah stayed upright but made little forward progress, while Billy Boyd stormed out in front. Unfortunately for him, Orlando and Dominic decided that if they were going swimming then he was too, and they swam over and tipped him out! So then they all swam for the finish and I'm not sure who won in the end! Elijah said that Billy did, while Orlando and Dominic each claimed they had.
Then they did a race in the rescue boats where one star had to "rescue" another as they shot past. That was quite successful, only the rescue boats were suddenly required as one of the dragon boats had capsized! So our stars were dumped without ceremony on the wharf and the boats raced off to do real rescues!
Orlando had a MOHAWK!! WHAT DOES THIS MEAN!!!! Elijah had hair about 2 inches long, with heaps of volume (he smiles ALL the time and looks just like his web photo: he is so perfect for the role). In fact they ALL smiled all the time: they looked like a really nice bunch of guys, with great synergy between them, and I think they'll make a very endearing group of hobbits (and elf). They each had a completely different accent: it will be very interesting to see how (if)
that is dealt with!
After the race they posed with a couple of fans for photos. I had used up all my film by then, but I wasn't that sorry, as there was a huge bunch of hyperventilating 14 year olds around them by that point, and I doubt I could have brought myself to enter that melee anyway.
They hung around a bit more, got interviewed by the TV crews and then disappeared in a most movie-star like fashion in a van with tinted windows and a small crowd of panting teenagers outside ("He SPOKE to me! oh my god oh my god oh my god my legs are shaking! He's like, a MOVIE STAR") [bluurghh].
From the TV news footage of the event:
Quote from Elijah Wood when asked, "so how would Frodo handle this challenge"? Reply: "Oh God, I don't know. . . I think Sam would probably come to his aid. Frodo can never do much by himself!"
and . . . "We've already seen about 20 minutes of the film all cut together . . . and it's shaping up. It's looking really amazing".
and then some comments about how much they are enjoying being in New Zealand: lots to do, and how friendly we kiwis are! It was a fun day, well worth my $5 entry fee. It was very clear that they are having a great time here, and we are very happy to have them!