World Snail Racing Championships
Saturday 15 July 2017
More than 200 snails slug it out every year in the World Snail Racing Championships held at Congham, in Norfolk. Why not come along as a spectator or even as a trainer and enter your own snail!
The 2016 championships were held on 16th July 2016 and the winner was a snail called Herbie 2 owned by 45-year-old Colin Voss from Histon in Cambridgeshire. Herbie 2 covered the 13 inch course in 3 mins 25 secs. Colin said “This is fantastic. I am delighted I’m going back in glory. My wife Katrina will help look after Herbie 2 because she is a very keen gardener.” Unfortunately last year’s winner George who was due to defend his title died suddenly the day before the Championships.
Congham is ideal racing and breeding ground for snails and has been host to the World Championships for more than 25 years. Said organiser, Hilary Scase: "Snails like damp conditions and as Congham is surrounded by ponds and is very low lying it is just right for snails. Congham is to snail racing what Newmarket is to horse racing.”
Farmer, Neil Riseborough, is Snail Trainer to the World Championships. He keeps order, tests for drugs, watches out for cheating and starts the races. Neil shouts: "Ready, steady, SLOW!,, and off dash the snails He keeps the course well-watered to encourage good speeds. Races are held on top of a table with a damp cloth spread out. Heats are held throughout the afternoon with a grand final at the end. The winner gets a silver tankard stuffed with lettuce leaves.
The World Snail Racing Championships are part of Congham, Fete which is help to raise money for the 13th century St Andrew’s Church.
Price: FREE to attend. Stalls will individually charge.
Location: Congham, Norfolk