Nineteen teams from businesses across Christchurch gathered in the cobbled street in front of Christchurch Priory on Pancake Day for the annual Christchurch Food Festival pancake races.
The atmosphere was electric as the teams limbered up before grabbing their frying pans and attempting to toss their way to victory along the race course. The Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr Frederick Neale, was on hand to start the races and to make sure that each team member did the compulsory three tosses of the pancake as they raced.
The teams took their task very seriously as the competitive spirit took hold and, despite pancakes being dropped along the way, there was always a great final spurt towards the finishing line.
After several rounds of heats, the two finalist teams from Penton Motor Group and Frettens Solicitors went head to head. This was a serious race as both teams had obviously been in training beforehand. Eventually the Penton team powered towards the finishing line to win the title.
Five local chefs took part in the Chefs’ Race with two chefs from Cheese & Alfies finding themselves in the final. Despite trying to push his rival out of the way at the start of the race, Mike Calvert lost out to fellow chef Louis Smith.
Vicki Hallam, chairman of the Food Festival committee, said: “Luckily the weather cleared up for us and we had a great fun atmosphere. There was a little bit of cheating going on but it was all taken in good spirit. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who took part and paid their entry fee to benefit the festival charity, the Christchurch Food Festival Education Trust.”
This year’s Food Festival takes place on 7 and 8 May in the High Street and on Christchurch Quay. More information can be found at www.christchurchfoodfest.co.uk.