The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a global competition in which men with bears and moustaches showcase their carefully and skillfully crafted facial hair- first taking place in Hofen-Enz, Germany, twenty years ago in 1990, the event has grown enormously in terms of applicants and popularity.
On September 1, 2007, competitors from the the world-over gathered for the annual championship, this year, held in Brighton, UK, with competition judges including moustachioed musician Nick Cave and musician/poet, Billy Childish.
Categories inclued Dali moustache, goatee and full beard freestyle.
Categories also include:
-Natural Moustache: maximum of 1.5cm beyond the edge of the upper lip (may be styled but without aides).
-English: slender, hairs extremely long and pulled to the side.
-Dali: slender with long tips, straight up or arching up.
-Imperial Moustache: small and bushy with tips arching up.
-Hungarian: big and bushy, beginning from the middle of the upper lip and pulled to the side.
-Freestyle: All moustaches that do not match other classes.
-Natural Goatee: facial hair grown only on chip, upper and lower lip (may be styled buyt without aides).
-Chinese: chin shaved with moustache tips long and pulled down.
-Musketeer: moustache long and slender, beard small and pointed.
-Imperial: hair to be grown only on cheeks and upper lip.
-Sideburns Freestyle: all other sideburns with shaved chin.
-Alaskan Whaler: all beards with no moustache.
-Partial Beard Freestyle: all partial beards not matching other classes.
-Verdi: short and round, length not to exceed 10cm.
-Garibaldi: broad, full and round, length not to exceed 20cm.
-Natural Full Beard: as grown, no aids allowed.
-Natural Full Beard with Styled Moustache: as grown, only moustache can be styled with aides.
-Full Beard Freestyle: full beards not matching other classes, but considered the most creative over all the categories in the full beards.
History of the Beard and Moustache Championships.
Since 1995, the championships have been held every two years- in 1997 being organized by the Norweigan Moustache Club (Den Norkske Mustaschklubben) in Trondheim, Norway, and then, in 1999 being held by the Swedish Moustache Club (Svenska Mustaschklubben), in the southern city of Ystad, and continuing a European theme when it returned to the founding land of Germany in 2001, when the Swabian Beard and Moustache Club (Schwabische Bart- und Schnauzerclub) celebrated it's tenth anniversary by hosting the championships in the hometown of Schomberg.
In 2007, London's famous Handlebar Club hosted the championships in the seaside town of Brighton. The championships were host to a sell out crowd whilst hundreds of facial hair fans stood outside, though unable to retrieve tickets, hungry for a piece of the facial fuzz action- with German teams once again proving triumphant, winning nine golds in total.
These images from The World Beard and Moustache Championships have certainly given me a dose of inspiration in the zany, weird and more-than-a-little-bit-wonderful world of moustache growth- potentially a source for designing my own moustaches- perhaps creating a "grow-your-own" guide, or wall chart?...