Fun and games in Congham. Pictures: Kevin Elfleet

Competitors from around the country did slimy battle in the World Snail Racing Championships at Congham.

The races were held as part of the annual village fete, held at Grimston cricket pitch on Sunday.

A snail called Sammy is the new world champion after finishing the 13-inch course in two minutes and 38 seconds – just 38 seconds outside the record established in 1995. 

Her owner, 22-year-old Maria Welby from Grantham in Lincolnshire, said: “I feel so proud. 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 and not to be downtrodden or feel they are second class citizens.”

Despite the wet weather forecast, the rain held off, but it turned stormy later in the day.

Sammy snail came from the stable of snail trainer Neil Riseborough who said: “What an achievement. I am ecstatic – not only did a snail that I trained myself win, but we have had the best day’s racing for a decade.

“It was a thrilling final with thunder and lightning encouraging the snails to speed up.”

In all, 215 snails from across the country took part in the championships, with 13 competing in the final.

The fete, which included a barbecue, stalls, cakes, competitions and traditional games, is held to raise money for the 13th century St Andrew’s Church.

There was also live music from King’s Lynn Ukule Club and North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham was a special guest.