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Bog Snorkelling

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Bog Snorkelling

Bog snorkelling is a sporting event that consists of competitors completing two consecutive lengths of a 60-yard (55 m) water filled trench cut through a peat bog, in the shortest time possible. Competitors must wear snorkels and flippers, and complete the course without using conventional swimming strokes, relying on flipper power alone. Wet suits are not compulsory, but are usually worn.

World Bog Snorkelling Championship

The World Bog Snorkelling Championship, first held in 1985, takes place annually every August Bank Holiday at the dense Waen Rhydd peat bog, near Llanwrtyd Wells in mid Wales. The 2007 event was not sponsored; the last sponsor was London-based IT consultancy company SPMK in 2006.

Joanne Pitchforth of Heckmondwike is the current world record holder with the time 1m35s, having shaved fractions of a second off the previous record set in 2003. Rob Liscoe is the current men’s champion winning on 27 August 2007. Joanne Pitchforth is the current women’s bog snorkelling champion, and George Murphy the champion junior bog snorkeller. Interestingly, all three champions this year regularly play Underwater Hockey.

Other bog snorkelling events take place, particularly in Wales, including the associated mountain bike bog snorkelling (where competitors must ride through the bog on specially prepared mountain bikes), and the Bog Snorkelling Triathlon.

Proceeds from the championship go to a local charity each year. Charities include the Cystic Fibrosis Trust (2005), Motor Neurone Association (2006)

Tony Simon

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