Video and photo gallery: Wells comes out of his shell to win World Snail Racing Championships at Congham in Norfolk

Elise Balmforth (10) with her snail 'Shelly' at the World Snail Racing Championship, Congham. Pictur

Elise Balmforth (10) with her snail 'Shelly' at the World Snail Racing Championship, Congham. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Soaring temperatures did not deter the annual staging of the World Snail Racing Championship at Congham.

The Championships were held as part of the Congham Fete, to raise money for St Andrew's Church.

The race was won by Wells who completed the 13-inch course in three minutes 19 seconds, well outside the record time of two minutes.

Wells is owned by five-year-old Zeben Butler-Alldred who lives in London, but is on holiday at Chosley.

Zeben said: 'I found Wells in the garden this morning and he looked like a champion so I put him in.'

Zeben's mother, Pam, said: 'Zeben seems to have a way with snails he loves them.

'He's going to put this one back in the garden at Chosley so he can carry on with his nice life in the country.'

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Zeben called his snail Wells because he likes everything about the place – the beach, the ice cream, the fish and chips and the boats.

The event is a family favourite with Zeben's sister Millie, a finalist in last year's competition with a snail called Rocket.

Zeben's father Shaun who is from Norfolk said: 'We are all looking forward to being back next year with our youngest snail trainer Finbar.'

150 snails took part in the championships with 11 in the final.

Wells' time was well outside the record of two minutes.

Snail trainer Neil Riseborough said: 'Temperatures went up to 30 degrees and the snails were really feeling the heat.

'They just didn't want to speed and times all afternoon were slow.'

Neil presented Zeben with a silver tankard stuffed with lettuce leaves.

The fete raised around £3000 for St Andrew's Church.

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