On your marks, get set ... crawl! For over 25 years, Congham (Norfolk, England) is hosting the snail racing world championships. Unlike regular racetracks, this track is circular and the snails “race” from the center towards the outside. Excited owners of racing snails give their animals names like Speedy or Schumacher (after the former Formula 1 world champion) and cheer them on like there’s no tomorrow.
DIY Snail Races
Snail races are easy to organize: just carefully pick up a few snails, add little stickers with numbers on (otherwise they all look the same), set them down on the starting line and it’s time to go! “Ready, steady...slow!” and your snails will start to sprint away.
World Championship 2019
On 20.07.2019 a bunch of 215 snails fought on this year's competition for the coveted title! Only 15 made it to the finals. With 2 minutes and 38 seconds, Sammy snail took the title. And there is more to it: Sammy is - behind Archie - the fastest snail since 1995 (see below).
World Championship 2018
In July, snail Hosta (the scientific name of the plantain lily) won the honorable title. With 3 minutes and 10 seconds, it was not the fastest snail ever, but this year's first crossing the finishing line and thus the winner!
World Championship 2017
On 15.07.2017, Larry, the snail of Tara Beasley won the championships! His record time: 2 minutes and 47 seconds!
World Championship 2016
Herbie 2 isn’t necessarily one of the fastest. But this year, he made it to first place! He slimed his way over the finish line in 3 minutes and 25 seconds.
World Championship 2015
“Speedy” George was the fastest snail in 2015. In this year’s race, the snail raced over the finish line in 2 minutes and 45 seconds. The snail’s owner knows one thing for sure: George’s win was down to his “fuel” - delicious, local lettuce. George was the fastest snail since 2009’s winner. Only Archie in 1995 was faster.
World Championship 2014
On 07.19.14, Wells the snail was the first to crawl over the finish line in 3 minutes and 19 seconds. This was considerably slower than in previous years - but it was a very hot day. Five year old Zeben Butler-Alldred from London was on holiday in Congham and took part on a whim. He named his snail after his hometown.
World Championship 2013
“Racer II” gave it his all and made it across the line in just 2 minutes and 47 seconds in 2013’s championship on 07.20.13. Sue (who turned 6 that year) continued her success from the previous year, and proved her worth as a snail trainer.
World Championship 2012
At the world snail racing championship in August of 2012, the winner was a snail that had obviously earned its name: Racer. And in just 3 minutes and 20 seconds. The snail was “trained” by 5 year old Sue. Good work!
World Championship 2011
The 07.16.2011 was the fateful day of 2011’s snail racing world championship, where Zoomer raced past the competition in 3 minutes and 23 seconds. Proud owner: 6 year old Anton Lucas.
World Championship 2010
The winner of the 2010 world championship on 07.17.10 was Sidney with a time of 3 minutes and 47 seconds. Unlike the previous year’s winner Terri and record holder Archie, Sidney really did move at a snail’s pace! But Sidney was still the fastest. Well done!
World Championship 2009
On 07.18.09, Terri the racing snail won the world championship after beating 187 other racers. In 2 minutes and 49 seconds, this snail raced from the start line to the finish line - a whole 33cm away. This sporting achievement was rewarded with fame and glory. And a healthy dose of salad. Owner, 27 year old Claire Hopkins, took a beautiful silver trophy home.
Weltrekordhalter ist Archie
Terri made a good effort but didn’t manage to break Archie’s world record. 1995 was “his” year. He was 49 seconds faster on the 33cm track, with a time of just 2 minutes. He’s even got an entry in the 1998 Guinness Book of World Records.
Racing snails in action
Here, you’ll find pictures and even a video of this year’s snail race in Congham.