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215 snails go shell-to-shell at Norfolk Snail Racing Championship

PUBLISHED: 12:43 21 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:47 24 July 2019

The Snail Racing Championship has taken place in Congham. Picture: Mark Scase

The Snail Racing Championship has taken place in Congham. Picture: Mark Scase

Archant

The Snail Racing Championships took place in Congham, near Sandringham, on Saturday, July 21, with 215 entries taking part.

Maria Welby and her snail Sammy were crowned champions. Picture: Mark ScaseMaria Welby and her snail Sammy were crowned champions. Picture: Mark Scase

The event, which sees snails race to reach the outside of a 13-inch course, has been a long time tradition at the Congham Fete, being held for the last 50 years.

Organiser Neil Riseborough said: "It was absolutely fantastic with some fantastic racing all through the day, I have never seen it so close.

"It was a bit of a shame that last year's champion wasn't there as they have the number one on their shell but we had two or three previous champions there.

"I think we will have to rename it the survival series as in the morning I only had about four snails but when we get there loads had arrived.

The Snail Racing Championship has taken place in Congham. Picture: Matthew TebbuttThe Snail Racing Championship has taken place in Congham. Picture: Matthew Tebbutt

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"A bus came from Aylsham came to compete and we had a student from Oxford University, who was studying molluscs, come and there was another student from Oxford there so we had a university race."

This year's winner was a snail called Sammy, which completed the course in two minutes 38 seconds.

Owner Maria Welby, 22, said: "It's a great day for me and a great day for females all over the country. I hope this will encourage other female snails to show what they are made of."

The Snail Racing Championship has taken place in Congham. Picture: Matthew TebbuttThe Snail Racing Championship has taken place in Congham. Picture: Matthew Tebbutt

Matthew Tebbutt was competing as part of the Whitwell Hall team, who have entered in the last five championships.

He said: "Every year Whitwell Hall sets up a training camp with a tank of snails and a gym to get the snails ready on.

"The heats get quite competitive especially when two snail are foot and foot ready for the finish line."

The championship raises funds for the village's 13th century St Andrew's Church.

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