SEE VIDEO: Snail races help raise thousands at Congham Fete

Forget the Ashes, the Open or the Tour de France. If you wanted world championship sporting action at the weekend, then the Congham Fete was the place to be.

Uslime Bolt and Slow Farah were among the competitors for the Snail Racing World Championship, which took place as part of the event on the Grimston cricket field on Saturday afternoon.

World Championship Snail Racing takes part at the Congham fete. Grace Firth (3) with her heat winning snail 'White Shadow' and mum Tasha Witham and dad Daniel Firth. ANL-150719-122447009

World Championship Snail Racing takes part at the Congham fete. Grace Firth (3) with her heat winning snail 'White Shadow' and mum Tasha Witham and dad Daniel Firth. ANL-150719-122447009

But, while entrants came from as far afield as Germany and Hong Kong, the champion was a local contender.

George, who was entered by Dale Thorne, of Gayton, beat Popeye into second place.

Mr Thorne said George was found in the garden of his mother’s home in the village last Tuesday.

Describing the victory as “brilliant”, he said: “We’ve just been feeding him home-grown lettuce.”

World Championship Snail Racing takes part at the Congham fete. ANL-150719-122437009

World Championship Snail Racing takes part at the Congham fete. ANL-150719-122437009

A total of 175 snails were entered for the competition, in which snails race over a 13 inch course, with the winner the first to travel from the inner red circle to the outer circle.

Neil Riseborough, the Snail Master who started each of the 12 heats and the final with his cry of “Ready, Steady, Slow”, said the warm, dry weather conditions were not ideal for the competition.

But he added: “The racing has been sensational. For a little village fete to have all these people here is fantastic.”

The races were part of a packed afternoon of activities, which were staged in aid of St Andrew’s Church in Congham.

World Championship Snail Racing takes part at the Congham fete. Snail master Neil Riseborough gets them lined up. ANL-150719-122426009

World Championship Snail Racing takes part at the Congham fete. Snail master Neil Riseborough gets them lined up. ANL-150719-122426009

Although the final total has yet to be confirmed, church warden Helen Lilley said yesterday that they were expecting to raise around £3,000, which would be slightly up on last year.

She said: “It was a really successful day. We had lots of people turn up and everyone seemed to have a very good time.”

Other highlights included displays from the King’s Morris and music from local band Dreired, who stepped in at short notice to provide entertainment.

Representatives of the Norfolk Hospice Tapping House were also there to run a tombola for their own funds.

World Championship Snail Racing takes part at the Congham fete. ANL-150719-122415009

World Championship Snail Racing takes part at the Congham fete. ANL-150719-122415009

And the winners of the fete’s grand prize draw were announced by North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham.

Mrs Lilley thanked everyone who supported the event, including new sponsors IBA Insurance Services.