POLICE officers proved how speedy they are as they won a pancake race with a nail-biting finish.
It was a case of ‘ready, set, flip’ as nine teams dashed along Waterlooville precinct as they tossed pancakes.
The competitors, who were vying to hold the ‘Battle of Waterlooville’ shield, warmed up as a radio DJ played the Grandstand theme.
A section of the precinct was cordoned off for the annual race, which has been a popular fixture since 2002, although was not held last year due to regeneration works in the precinct.
Runners had to toss a pancake twice at the start of the course, then run to the other end and flip the plastic crepe twice again, before darting back to the finish line.
After several rounds, the team from Waterlooville police station and Barclays bank proved they were the fastest.
Staff from Barclays, the titleholders, looked like they had the race won, but there were gasps and cheers as they dropped the pancake on the home stretch.
PCSO Jemma Burbury was smiling broadly as she crossed the finish line, frying pan in tow.
She said: ‘It was really good.
‘It gets everybody out and everybody enjoys it.
‘It’s a lot harder than it looks actually, especially with all this gear on!’
Nadiya O’Neil, 24, from Barclays Bank, said: ‘It was really good fun – but I hate losing, especially dropping a pancake at the end.’
Mayor Gerald Shimbart said: ‘Congratulations to the police. They’ve done a wonderful job.
‘Those crooks will never get away from you!’
The event is organised by Havant Borough Council and Waterlooville Business Association.
Bray Associates, who run the Friday market in Waterlooville, handed out £200 to the winning team and the police have decided to give the cash to The Rowans Hospice in Purbrook.
Among the other teams taking part were Lloyds TSB, Halifax, Co-op Funeral Directors, Iceland, Hair OTT, Poundland, and Havant Borough Council.
Stuart Palmer, who works for Havant Borough Council, dressed as a human-sized banana for the race.
He said he prefers lemon and sugar on his pancake, but added: ‘I can do a bit of banana on there as well!’
Dozens of people, including children from Springwood school, laughed and cheered as they enjoyed the race.
Sally Winter, who work for Christie Intruder Alarms in London Road, said: ‘There’s very good team spirit all around for Waterlooville precinct.
‘We will be in it next year and we are going to win!’