World Snail Racing Championships

Snail racing is a fun event for young and old alike. For more than 25 years the World Snail Racing Championships have been held at Congham, near King's Lynn, in Norfolk.

Snail racing is easy to organise. Collect snails from a garden. Favourite places are behind or underneath big stones. They like wet areas.

Before snails can enter a race a sticker with a number must be put on so they can be identified. One garden snail looks very much like another!

It is best to hold heats if there are large numbers.

The snails race from the centre of a circle to the outside. The circle has a radius of 13 inches. The snails are put in the middle and pointed in the right direction.

Circular snail racing course. Photo: Scase News Service Ltd

There should be a Snail Trainer to start the races. He shouts: "Ready, steady, SLOW!" And off dash the snails! The trainer keeps the course well-watered as snails like damp conditions.

Races are held on a table covered with a white cloth. Machine a circle, with braid in the middle, and then machine a similar circle 13 inches away.

The Snail Trainer can dress up. Owners can dress up. In fact, run it how you like for maximum impact.

The World record stands at 2 minutes over the 13 inches. It was set up in 1995 by a snail called Archie. The record can only be challenged at the World Championships at Congham.

Giant foreign snails are not allowed

Often owners like to give their snails names like Speedy or Zoomer!

The next championships are being held on Saturday 19th July 2020 on the cricket field at Congham.

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