Watch Australian Popeye paddling down river in giant pumpkin named after Game Of Thrones character

Man dressed as Popeye paddling down Australian river in a giant pumpkin called Tormund
Cinderella man: Adam Farquharson takes Tormund for a spin down the Tumut River in Australia (Image credit: John Stanfield)

This isn’t the first time we’ve featured pumpkin paddling on Advnture (a Missouri man paddled 38 miles in a 1,200-pound pumpkin boat last year) but it seems like the craze is going global.

It’s now hit Australia and, as is often the case, they've found a way to make things that little bit more surreal.

Because this isn’t just the story of a man paddling down a river in a giant pumpkin. 

It’s about a commodore dressed as Popeye paddling the biggest pumpkin grown in Australia this year – which just happens to be named after a character in Game Of Thrones – down the Tumut River in New South Wales.

Meet Adam Farquharson, former commodore of the Tumut Canoe Club, whose friend Mark Peacock grew a Royal Easter Show blue ribbon-awarded monster pumpkin – a 407kg / 897lb gourd named Tormund in honor of Game Of Thrones’ Tormund Giantsbane.

Farquharson previously attempted to grow a giant pumpkin big enough to paddle in, an effort that turned out to be an “abject and hilarious failure… It grew to about the size of a softball, rotted off and died.”

But since Tormund was destined to be used for stock feed after his prize showing, Farquharson realized the opportunity that was being handed to him.

“Barry Humphries said that he's a big fan of the unnecessary, and I am too. I'm a big one for shenanigans,” he says.

So, adorned with a Popeye sailor’s hat and pipe (though it's unclear whether he had spinach for breakfast), Farquharson completed the one-mile trip in the hollowed-out Tormund last Saturday – though for some reason they rechristened it Cinderella for the day. (The pumpkin “carriage” connection we get, but why change the name?) Around 1,000 people lined the banks of the river for the voyage.

Farquharson believes he’s the first person to paddle a pumpkin in the the Tumut River, but not the first in Australia – he knows of another person who paddled a smaller pumpkin in Collector Creek on the other side of Canberra.

"I think the worldwide fame will wear off pretty soon,” he says. “I won't end up like Taylor Swift.” [via ABC News Australia where there’s a longer video of the event]