'Its great to be back': Trio triumph at popular pancake day races
- Credit: Mick Howes
New winners have been crowned as a popular annual contest returned.
After last year's event had been postponed amid the continuing coronavirus crisis, Lowestoft's annual Pancake Day race attracted a good turnout as teams battled it out in the town centre on Shrove Tuesday (March 1).
Britain's most easterly pancake races saw six Lowestoft-based businesses and organisations hit the starting line armed with frying pans.
With local companies, clubs and an increased number of mascots battling it out this year, all were hungry for success as they competed in the fun and friendly relay races.
Event organisers Lowestoft Vision - the Business Improvement District for Lowestoft which is managed by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce - admitted it was "great to be back" with the eighth annual pancake race they have overseen, as excited onlookers cheered the teams on in London Road North.
The event began once more with the mascot race - and there was an early shock as 2020 winner and five-times finalist Access Ant from Access Community Trust was beaten into second place in the semi final.
After Gerard the Giraffe, from Citrus Shredding, had progressed through the first semi-final, Daisy from the Funny Farm soft play and barn cafe on London Road North progressed through the second semi-final.
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And there was joy for the Citrus Shredding mascot as Gerard the Giraffe lifted the trophy as winner of the 2022 race.
The main pancake race then saw teams battling it out over three legs of the specially-set course.
The teams of three competitors raced against each other over a short course, flipping pancakes as they dashed the distance.
Competing in two heats, teams had to flip the pancake three times halfway through the course and then on the way back before handing over to the next competitor or sprinting to the finishing line.
After some entertaining heats, the Lowestoft Town FC Football Flippers, representing the Football Industry College at Sentinel Leisure Trust, and Everyone Active made it into the final after two close contests.
The final was then decided by the narrowest of margins following a lunge for the line and despite calls for "VAR" to intervene, it was the Lowestoft Football Flippers that were crowned champions "by an absolute whisker," according to the organisers.
After Sentinel Leisure Trust had been runners up last time round, the trio of Kian Leech, Frankie Sibbons and Connor Lewis lifted the coveted trophy this year.
The trio said they were "delighted" to have won, as the team - who had been told beforehand of the second place finish last time out - went one better this time as they "did it for the Football Industry College."
Danny Steel, chairman of Lowestoft Vision, said: "Its great to be back.
"We've had a good turnout in cold conditions and it was lovely to see the public here cheering on the teams.
"There were new winners of the trophies this year, which is always nice to see, and there were some different mascots taking part this time as well.
"Everything went really well and we look forward to next year being bigger, better and brighter."