Mutual challenges between Basques.
What used to be a challenge between young farm workers has now become a competition between villages and a highlight of the summer season!
In the land of challenges, everyone is keen to use their skills on behalf of the village whose honour they are defending! Games are an integral part of the Basque soul.
Traditional jobs such as stonecutting, tree-felling in the forests, mowing the prairies, working the fields with oxen… are brought back to life today in the form of sport in the Force Basque, inspired by the country’s traditional daily life.
Soka tira (tug-of-war): eight men in each team. To win, each team must pull its opponents four metres. The winner is the best of three games.
Untziketariak or Esneketariak (churn-carrying): an individual event in which competitors must try to carry a 41 kg churn in each hand as far as possible.
Zaku lasterka or Zalulariak (running with a bag on the shoulder): a relay race between teams of three runners carrying 81 kg sacks of corn. This event also exists as an individual race.
Arpanariak (long saw): teams of two competitors must make several cuts as quickly as possible in a log 60 to 75 cm in diameter using a two-handed saw.
Orga joko (cart game): the competitor must lift a 360 kg cart and rotate it about its shaft around the greatest possible circular distance.
Aizkolariak (wood chopping): the goal is to chop a given number of beech logs 35 to 60 cm in diameter as quickly as possible. The logs are laid out horizontally on the ground.
Lasto altxatzea or lasto altxari (bale lifting): the competitors lift 45 kg bales of straw on the end of a rope using a pulley to a height of eight metres. The movement is repeated as many times as possible in two minutes.
Harri altxatzea (stone lifting): the athlete lifts stones of different weights (250 to 300 kg) on to his shoulder.