Annual Snail Racing World Championships return to England

July 11, 2023

Slow and steady wins this race. An annual snail racing event—which holds a Guinness World Record as the longest-running humane snail-racing world championship—is making a comeback post-pandemic, reports the New York Post.

Above, snails that are competing are given names like Speedy and Zoomer. (Photo source: Snail Racing World Championships/Congham)

The Snail Racing World Championships, held in Congham, England, returned on Saturday, July 8, after being on hiatus since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Snail Master Nicholas Dickinson starts the races, which are being held at Grimston Cricket Club, by shouting, “Ready, steady, slow! And off dash the snails!”

The competition, which encourages the snails to (as rapidly as possible) follow a circle with a braid in the middle, is held on a table covered with a cloth.

The novel event began in the 1960s after founder Tom Elwes watched snails race at an event in France.

In 1995, the benchmark time of two minutes was set by a snail named Archie, who still holds the world record. In the last race, held in 2019, Sammy won—having completed the course in 2 minutes and 38 seconds. This year, Evie won with a time of 7 minutes and 24 seconds.

All proceeds from the competition go to St. Andrews Church in Congham.

Research contact: @nypost