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Snail racing competition postponed

Snail racing competition postponed

snail racing competition has been postponed because the snails are too “sluggish” to take part, organisers say.

The charity event was due to take place today until organisers noticed their lethargic champs were not ready and raring to go.

The Dartmoor Union pub in Holbeton, Plymouth, was due to collect the competitors but when they rang the pet shop they were told the cold weather had led to them becoming  too "sluggish" to go racing.

On its Facebook page the pub said: "Unfortunately due to our snails being extra sleepy we have had to cancel the snail racing championships this Saturday! We apologise and do hope to see you over the weekend regardless !!"

On their posters advertising the event it states: "The cold snap has led to a medical problem with our racing snails, it's called hibernation. A new date will follow soon. Sorry."

The event had been planned for several months at the pub, with money going towards Devon Air Ambulance.

Pub manager Donna Aziz told the BBC: "We've promised everyone that we'll hold the event when they wake up.

"Perhaps we should have known because you don't see a lot of snails around.

"I'm a little bit disappointed but there's not a lot we can do."

During the winter garden snails hibernate, often in large groups, under stones and in crevices of trees.

They cover their bodies with a thin layer of mucus, which prevents them from drying out. 

Mike Trembath of the Ark Pet Shop, Plymouth, added: "They've got a bit sluggish in the cold weather.

"It happens with pretty much cold-blooded creatures but they will wake up when it gets warmer."

The snail races last about four minutes, with the title for the fastest snail presently standing at 2 minutes over the 13 inches of the track.

Every year World Snail Racing Championships are held at Congham, in Norfolk, but in the summer months when the competitors are a bit more lively.

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