Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thirteen Inch Footrace Won In Just Under Four Minutes By New Champ, Sidney

Sidney the snail wins world championship… slowly

Monday, July 19, 2010

In the international racing world this is not the most thrilling or action-loaded event but for the owners of these thoroughbreds, it's the Triple Crown all rolled into one. These finely honed athletes are fierce competitors, even though it took this years champ, Sidney, 3 minutes and 41 seconds to complete the 13 inch run for the roses. Welcome to the World Snail Racing Championship 2010.

The highly prestigious race, featuring more than 200 of the world's fastest snails, takes place annually in Norfolk. A roar breaks out from the crowd when the referee gives the signal to start with the familiar: "Ready, steady, SLOW!"

The racers begin at the center of a circular table and sprint to the circular finish line 13 inches away. After a series of rounds, the winner is declared and awarded a silver mug filled with lettuce.

This year Sidney brought home the honors for 62-year-old owner and trainer, Claire Lawrence. A proud Ms. Lawrence pointed out that the time of 3m 41s… is only a little slower than the 1500m race at the Olympics. Event organiser, Hilary Scase, said: "Snails like damp conditions and as Congham is surrounded by ponds and is very low lying it is just right for snails. Congham is to snail racing what Newmarket and Churchhill Downs are to horse racing.”

An unauthorized spokesperson for the event stated she was not authorized to speak and didn't. An American Civil Liberties Union representative in attendance said the muzzling of the unauthorized spokesperson was a violation of his/her right to freedom of speech. Race organizers immediately moved to muzzle the libertarian.

An authorized spokesperson for the World Federation of Snail Breeders said the controversy was the best publicity snail breeders could have hoped for. "Outside of France, where the snail is one of the symbols of haute cuisine, snails are used mainly for cleaning fish tanks and other menial occupations."

So it goes.


Mark Scase

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