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Barrel of laughs at Dwile Flonking

PUBLISHED: 10:46 01 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:55 30 June 2010

The lack of beer - and some rain - did not dampen the spirits of 60 hardy competitors who took part in the inaugural world dwile flonking championship at a Broads pub at the weekend.

The lack of beer - and some rain - did not dampen the spirits of 60 hardy competitors who took part in the inaugural world dwile flonking championship at a Broads pub at the weekend.

Six teams of 10 battled it out at the Dog Inn pub at Ludham on Saturday and the Pippin Flonkers, a team from Coventry, emerged victorious.

The competition had been thrown into question after a council warned the pub that they could be in breach of licensing rules if competitors were allowed to drink alcohol at speed.

A traditional element of the age-old East Anglian sport, which sees competitors using a pole to launch a beer-soaked cloth at opponents, involves quickly downing a pot of real ale if you miss your target twice in a row.

North Norfolk District Council warned the pub that this could be in breach of legislation, which came into effect in April, which makes it illegal to promote “speed drinking”.

However, organisers at Ludham got round the problem by getting competitors to swig ginger beer instead of alcohol during the game.

The event was organised by thenorfolkbroads.org internet forum group and teams came from across the country to take part.

Organiser Sue Hancock said: “Everybody got into the spirit of it and we all had a great laugh.”

Fellow organiser Peter Marr said of the alcohol restrictions: “We just thought it was silly, nanny state stuff. But all the guys and girls got into it. Everybody understood there was nothing we could do about it, so let's just make the best of it.”

Mrs Hancock, from Coventry, and Mr Marr, from Milton Keynes, said they would be writing to their local MPs in a bit to get what they described as “stupid and archaic” rules changed.

Pub landlady Lorraine Clinch said: “It has all worked out very well with ginger beer - which is non alcoholic.

“It was just one of those things and we had to get on with it. Everyone had a good time and I think there is talk of it becoming an annual event.”

She said that sponsors Woodfordes Brewery had provided a barrel of beer, but this was to be enjoyed after the competition and was nothing to do with the game itself.

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