Rebel with out a claus! Ho-ho-hopeful Santa super fans battle it out to be crowned world’s greatest father Christmas

By Josh Saunders


Ho-ho-hopeful Santa super fans battle it out to be crowned the world’s greatest father Christmas.

This year’s annual ClauWau saw 112 competitors from all over the world take on snowmobile races, chimney and fireplace climbing, ski and snowshoe treks and more.


The challenges test the mettle of budding Santa Clauses by putting their skill to the test as they battle it out in 28 teams of four. 

German team Wünnenberger Wunderkläuse clinched victory with a score of 589, three more points than second place team, Santas Gentlemännchen.

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In third place were last year’s winners Santa Speedo from Switzerland trailing with 534 – competitors travelled from Germany, Switzerland, Japan and further to take part. 

This is the 18th time the event has run, which celebrates the opening of the five-month ski season in Samnaun winter resort in Switzerland.

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Bernhard Aeschbacher, 38, Head of the Tourist Board at Samnaun, said: “People like the event, because it’s not an everyday occurrence to have hundreds of Santa Clauses on the slope. 

“It is a funny event, we have a lot of regular participants. 

“The combination of snow, competition, party is unique at the ClauWau.

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“We had six challenging disciplines for the Santas, e.g. the biathlon with archery, the tandem-ski or two of the traditional chimney.

“The event was very successful with 28 teams of four Santas from Japan, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. 

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“Also, the live-concert of Pegasus – a famous local pop-band from Bienne/Switzerland – had a large audience. 

“We are very happy with the 18th edition.

“People made hundreds of selfies with our Santa Clauses. 

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“Our Chief-Santa Clause, the ‘Schongi-Klaus’ with his two assistants ‘Schmutzli’ and ‘Knecht Ruprecht’ distributed sweets and nuts all day. 

“So, it’s fun for everyone, the participants, the spectators and especially also for the children.”

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Last year, when describing the beauty of the annual games, Marcel Rochow, from the Samnaun resort, said: “Everyone likes Santa Claus and has good memories of this character. 

“The ClauWau offers the opportunity to slip into the role of the Santa Claus and to compete in a funny competition together with friends and like-minded people.

“Even though the teams during the disciplines are competitors.

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“It is always nice to see how comradely everyone is with each other and how the various Santas on the occasion form one great Santa-community.”

For more information visit: www.samnaun.ch