CROWDS united to witness the ‘tongue-in-cheek’ return of a wacky annual pancake race.
Residents flocked to the Waterlooville Precinct yesterday as the town’s much-loved Shrove Tuesday fixture came ‘back for good’.
Formerly funded by Havant Borough Council, the event was scrapped in 2017 – but was revived this year by staff at Co-operative Funeralcare at 320 London Road.
As the race staged its triumphant comeback, eight teams of workers and community figures took to the street to face off in a bid to win £200 for a charity of their choice.
After a series of heats, staff from Phone Repair Doctor in London Road were named victors – beating Hampshire Constabulary in the final sprint.
Employee Stephen King was part of the squad representing the firm, which will now make a donation to the Rowans Hospice.
The 20-year-old said: ‘The atmosphere at the race was pretty good and we’re really happy to have won.
‘Being able to make a donation to a cause we care about is a big bonus too.
‘We were fortunate to have lovely sunny weather and we will certainly be wanting to take part again next year.’
The event was initially due to take place on Pancake Day on Tuesday – but it was postponed by organisers after The News area was hit by a spell of stormy weather.
Overcoming the setback, race bosses have hailed its 2018 outing a resounding success.
Co-op funeral coordinator Ali Davison said: ‘It was a shame to have to make the call we did on Tuesday, but everyone at the Co-op is absolutely elated with how the race turned out.
‘All the teams taking part really got stuck into its true spirit – it has always been intended to be tongue-in-cheek.
‘I’m extremely proud of our community and it was lovely to see so many people come out and have a flipping good time, quite literally too.’
Despite being out of action last year, Ms Davison said the race has now cemented its position as an annual fixture.
She said: ‘We were gutted when the council said it wouldn’t be able to run the race last year because of a lack of resources.
‘We knew we had to bring it back and we can now safely say it is back for good.
‘As long as I am here, this race will go on long into the future.’
Other racers taking part in the event came from Matalan, Larcomes Solicitors, MMO Accountants, Review Hairdressers, We Big Local and Southern Co-operative Funeralcare.