Benny the big blue all ready for the big haul

ICONIC FESTIVAL SIGHT: Benny the big blue whale has become a regular feature at the Eden Whale Festival. Photo: Rachel Mounsey
ICONIC FESTIVAL SIGHT: Benny the big blue whale has become a regular feature at the Eden Whale Festival. Photo: Rachel Mounsey

Gumboot throwing, ferret racing, ute mustering: Many Australian towns have their traditions.

Eden has Benny.

Benny started life as a Mitsubishi Sigma in the early 1980s. Clapped out in the 2000s he was converted into his new life as a blue whale.

"Like the ones they used to haul out," explained Marty Davidson, who is Benny's year-round caretaker.

Benny spends most days parked up, behind the Ben Boyd Service Station he was named after, Davidson's Ben Boyd Motors.

According to Marty, his father Rene, artist Bob Daly and "a few other men" created the whale as a way to include a teams event at the annual Eden Whale Festival.

Apart from being an iconic feature in the street parade, Benny's one job is to be the whale during the Capstan Pull.

The team event re-enacts the task of hauling blubber through the try works and has proven popular with local sporting and community clubs since its inception around 2005.

"It's been a highlight event over the years," said Marty resting the annual trophy on the edge of the Benny's wide open bonnet mouth.

Benny's mouth .

Benny's mouth .

The names of past winners engraved on tiny plaques line the hand-crafted wooden replica capstan.

"We're hoping to add a few more names to this yet... though Benny's starting to look a bit worse for wear. I reckon he still might have a couple of years left in him."

Although there's not a barnacle in sight, he's starting to gather a bit of rust. Lately in his spare time, Marty's been sprucing him up for the big day, after all a star must always appear his best. Even if it does mean getting dolled up only to be hauled out of water.

If you think you and your team have the muscle power to haul Benny the Blue Whale out of the water on Saturday, November 1, you can sign up for the Nolan's Capstan Pull on the day at the Whale Festival information tent.

The watering can spout.

The watering can spout.

With only three weeks to go before the festival kicks off, preparations are well underway.

A gathering of enthusiast crafters took place last Monday, October 7 at the Uniting Church grounds as part of creating the sea exhibition. There are plenty more pre-festival workshops planned over the coming weeks.

Regular features including exhibitions, woodchop competition and the Artists Who Wood are all planned for the big weekend.

There will plenty of Eden traditions to sink your teeth into including the gently Freedom Charters' tosser competition and if chopping and pulling isn't your thing then you can always fly a kite.

The 2019 Eden Whale Festival will take place on the weekend of November 1-3.

Check out the Eden Whale Festival Facebook page or head to the website for further information.