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Ready, steady, slow – snails slug it out at racing world champs!

Running since the 1960s the gastropod games are held on top of a table, which has a special damp cloth spread out on it.

Three circles mark the top, with snails placed around the middle rim which is the starting line. The first one to reach the outer circle wins. Competitors can choose to bring their own snails or select one from the organiser’s on the day.

The championship heats are held throughout the afternoon, with a grand final at the end with all the various heat winners.

English teacher Maria Welby was crowned winner in in the final when her chosen competitor ‘Sammy the snail’ crossed the line first.

In 1995, the Guinness World Record was set when a snail called “Archie” completed the 13 inch (33 centimetres) course in two minutes and 20 seconds.

The Championships are held as part of a local fete and entrants pay 20p for each snail to race. All money raised goes to a local charity.

The next World Championships will be held in July 2020.

 

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