The 19th Wimborne Minster Pancake Race around the Minster was held on Shrove Tuesday 9th February on the third earliest date since the race was revived in 1998.
In spite of the early date and far from a pleasant weather forecast the morning turned out to be dry and bright albeit a little on the cool side!
Competitors started to arrive by 10.30am and by the time of the first race at 11 o’clock there were 80 entrants all rearing to go! As the Pancake Bell tolled the first of the Adult races took off. Kevin Martin, the Minster’s Ordinand in Training fought valiantly to win but was forced into second place behind the eventual overall winner Philip Goymer. In the second adult race Minster Curate Belinda Marflitt fought off stiff opposition to win the race ahead of Ian Faulkner, Chairman of the Wimborne BID.
Altogether there were twenty races across all the categories including two being pushed in the wheelchair race. Both from Stoneleigh Residential Home the result was as close to a dead heat as you could get! The two, Enid Davies and Violet Carter, both well into their nineties, received a large sack of wild bird food donated by Hayley Pope of the Wimborne Pet Centre.
Probably the most cheers of the morning went to the students of Queen Elizabeth’s School in the final race of the Upper School Age Group. There were five races in the group with students from QE and Beaucroft Schools.
The final had the winners of each of the five races, three students from QE and two from Beaucroft. The QE students realising that they would probably run the fastest agreed amongst themselves that they would allow one of the Beaufort Students to win and this was a delighted Adam Hinks. A truly a sporting gesture on behalf of the QE students.
There were thirty entries in the Toddlers category across four races with Alfie Thornton being declared the overall winner in this sections final race. Four pupils from Wimborne First School competed against each other with Jodie Teo winning the one race in this category. In the Middle School Age Group there were eight entries across two races with the final being won by Dante Dunbabin.
Monetary prizes were given to the schools of the under 18 category winners with packets of sweets to the participating younsters.
The Adult final was the last race of the morning which was won by first time entrant Philip Goymer from Savills Estate Agents. He was declared the Minster Pancake Champion 2016 and received the Old Bakehouse Café Perpetual Challenge Cup from former owners Martyn and Kathy Curtler and a Porcelain Bowl Trophy from the Stour and Avon Magazine presented by News Editor Marilyn Barber.
The races were started by the Town Crier and his Deputy with the Mayor Cllr Shane Bartlett presenting the monetary prizes and the wild bird food. Traditionally the collection taken at the Pancake Race has been for the Mayor’s Charites and £113 was raised.
Anthony Oliver, Race Co-ordinator on behalf of the small organising committee thanked all involved in the event including the Mayor, Town Crier and Deputy, participants, collectors, sponsors and stewards.