SLIDESHOW: Photos from ‘best ever’ Horsham Pancake Race

Bumper crowds created a party atmosphere in Horsham town centre on Tuesday (February 17) for the seventh annual Horsham Pancake Race.

With children’s TV presenter Dave Benson Phillips as race commentator, the competition in the Carfax pitted around 30 teams made up of local businesses and charities against one another.

JPCT 170215 S15071630x Horsham Pancake Races, Carfax, Rotary Club. COPY PHOTO of races in West Street SUS-150217-151216001

JPCT 170215 S15071630x Horsham Pancake Races, Carfax, Rotary Club. COPY PHOTO of races in West Street SUS-150217-151216001

After a dramatic final, Santander were crowned champions, having previously seen off the County Times’ team Shrove Newsday in the heat.

This year, the popular contest organised by The Rotary Club of Horsham in partnership with Horsham District Council featured a historical theme.

Mara Clancy, ten, and brother Finley, seven, competed for Horsham Rotary’s team - 31 years after their dad Simon took part in a pancake race in West Street.

Mafra Young, Mara and Finley’s grandmother and Simon’s mother, said: “It used to be from the top of West Street to where the fountain is now at the bottom.

“It was once down and once back and I think they were allowed to run then. We had a really nice day.”

Mascots including Horsham FC’s Howie the Hornet entertained the spectators with their own races as part of the competition, which raised funds for a number of local charities nominated by the participants.

Santander emerged victorious after the judges ruled they had finished ahead of Harris Lord Recruitment.

Jo Gill, of the winning team, attributed victory to their ‘fast feet’.

She said: “We had a good team spirit from the start - we were flipping good!

“Our secret was we worked well as a team.

“We are doing it for the British Heart Foundation and Santander match what we raise for them.”

As well as the winners, trophies were presented to the best dressed individual and team, won by Spofforths’ Toby Cotton and Fiesta Tots respectively.

Speaking after the competition, Dave Benson Phillips said he ‘wouldn’t miss it for the world’.

He said: “It is one of my favourite things to do.

“Where I come from in Worthing we don’t have this. There is such a huge community spirit in Horsham, it makes me very envious.

“People come to spectate and race and give up their time for such great causes.

“It is an amazing event and I wouldn’t miss doing it for the world.”

Horsham Rotary collected donations for a range of local and national charities as a result of the race.

The Rotary Club’s John Le Rossignol hailed the event as the ‘best ever’ in its seven-year history.

He said: “Certainly we are lucky with the weather, the crowd stayed and were brilliant and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it.

“Everyone gets something from it. It is just a great day really, good fun, and a great community event for young and old. This is what Horsham is all about.”