The Pancake Olympics

Never heard of them? Rivalling the winter ones in Vancouver this month come these Olympics. From Littlehampton on the Sussex coast, comes the Charity Pancake Challenge where teams compete for the honor of winning and…not much else, to be honest.

This year there will be 22 teams- more than last year- competing for charity. Whether they all be dressed like the man in the panto frock will only be known when you turn up on the day and see for yourselves. It’s too late to put any more teams together. Now the fun is in seeing what happens on the day.

One special mention about a team coming all the way from Shropshire. They have decided to do something every month to raise money for Cancer Research. Among the other things they have planned is cheese rolling in Gloucestershire in May (this one is definitely not for the faint-hearted) and the Tomatina in Valencia in Spain. Good luck to them and the rest of you.

Touch wood the weather holds because, let’s face it, soggy pancakes are not aerodynamically equipped for tossing. And who wants to clean the pavements up afterward? BBC Sussex will be there as well as stalls with food and drink. These Olympics are serious. There are rules. So what happens?

This isn’t just a run up the street flipping pancakes. This is much more like the true Olympics. There are four features to this sporting extravaganza. Firstly, you have to sprint 25 meters and halfway along, flip the pancake and catch it back in the pan and then continue. The second part is the relay where each team member has to pass the pan to another member as they run. The third requires too much explanation but consists of the pancake in the pan, a stone a broom and trying to aim at a target. This part is the curling section. The final involves trying to make the greatest number of flips in 30 seconds. And a flip means a complete turn, not just a slither in the pan.

So there you have it.

And if you want to watch the fun, Littlehampton High Street is the place to be on Saturday, 20th February.

From St Albans comes the strange story of another pancake dash. They held their event on Shrove Tuesday but ran into some health and safety issues. It was a little damp underfoot and health and safety officers decided that there should be no running. People could slip and fall over! The local head of tourism disqualified three offending teams for breaking this new rule.

I make no comment about the sense that some people have but you probably did!

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