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Ella Pickover/PA Archive
# And they're off
Aptly-named 'Zoomer' takes world Snail Racing crown
A garden snail with a 6-year-old owner overcomes 120 competitors to succeed ‘Sidney’ as world champion.

A GARDEN SNAIL with a 6-year-old owner has overcome stiff – but slow – opposition from over 120 other competitors to be crowned the world’s fastest snail.

Anton Lucas’s snail ‘Zoomer’ emerged the winner at the annual World Snail Racing Championships held in Norfolk yesterday.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the annual event has a well-established format for deciding on the fastest snail: the creatures are placed on the edge of one circle, facing outward, with the winner being the first to make it to an outer circle.

Just as with any sport, the best entrant does not always necessarily win – a snail may now always take the most direct route to the outer circle, meaning form does not always count for everything. Each snail wears a coloured sticker to help tell them apart.

Zoomer – who was given his name because Anton ‘liked the way he goes’ – completed the course in a time of 3 minutes and 23 seconds.

Among the beaten entrants was ‘Optimus Slime’, owned by 4-year-old Max Bailey who had last year won with his entry ‘Sidney’.

Bailey’s grandmother said Optimus Slime was a pedigree racer: they had released Sidney into the garden last year, and believed this year’s entrant to be one of his offspring.

Lucas said he would follow Bailey’s lead by retiring Zoomer, allowing the champion to roam free in the woods.

He added that the victory was “lovely”.

Here’s an example of some riveting snail racing action from the thriving amateur scene:

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