Lyme Regis: Quirky games to celebrate Queen's diamond day

Bournemouth Echo: Gemma Betts eating nettles Gemma Betts eating nettles

NEVER mind the Olympics – medal winners at the Lyme Regis Games will have really earned the applause of the crowds.

Organisers of the town’s Jubilee Games on Tuesday June 5 are inviting competitors to be on their marks for a series of very non-Olympic sports – including the 400m through-the-waves toga hurdles, the stinging nettle eating dash and a mobility scooter sprint.

The rather alternative Games will be held on the beach as the climax of the town’s programme of jubilee celebrations. Locals and visitors to the town are invited to compete in a series of tests of endurance, skill and fun expertly devised by Hugh Dunford-Wood, the Lyme Regis artist and former medal winner of the Oxford Dangerous Sports Club, the original pioneers of extreme sports.

The Jubilee Games will consist of ten events starting at 5pm and – against the clock set by the rising tide – ending at 7pm.

There will be Games for all ages of ‘athlete’, from toddlers to pensioners.

Winners will be presented with their gold medals by ‘the Queen Of The Games’.

The return of competitive nettle eating in West Dorset, not held since the closure of The Bottle Inn at Marshwood, is set to be one of the highlights, with the prize going to the person who consumes the most stinging nettles in three minutes.

“As there has not been a nettle-eating world championship for a few years, as The Bottle is closed, I thought it would be a popular wheeze to mark the Games with this sprint version. The Games’ nettle dash will still have world championship status, but possibly with more indigestion,” said Mr Dunford Wood.

Other events include a ball-on-spade toddle, eight-legged races for both children and adults, mermaid racing, a grand electric buggy race, tossing the caber, partner jousting, tug-of-war in the water, the racing waiters’ 100m and the 400m waves and (red, white and blue) toga hurdles from Bell Cliff car park to the Harbour Inn.

Following the end of the Jubilee Games, Lyme’s long weekend of events to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee will end with a huge open-air dance along the Marine Parade, from 8pm to 11pm.

Entrants can turn up on the day or contact the organisers via email on Geoffbaker12@btinternet.com

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