Wales

Entrants travel globe for Denbigh barrel-rolling race

Men with barrels
Image caption Some competitors travelled thousands of miles to take part in Denbigh's annual barrel-rolling contest

Competitors travelled from around the globe to take part in the 61st annual Roll the Barrel Championship of Wales.

The Christmas contest has run every year in Denbigh since 1958.

This year entrants from the USA, New Zealand and the Netherlands lined up against home-grown barrel-rolling talent.

Hywel Watkin, president of organisers the Denbigh Rotary Club, said the event was "a bit like Formula 1".

Image caption Barrel rolling has been going in Denbigh for 61 years

"Usually we have an international crowd," he said.

"This year I think we had three from the States, one from New Zealand, one from Holland - we usually have a good international mix.

"We seem to be doing quite well and it's getting more known.

"We say it's the Welsh championship for roll-the-barrel because we don't know of another one that's around.

"Looking at the champions over the years it's a bit like Formula 1. The one who gets off fastest often is the one that wins."

Controlling the barrel was "quite difficult", Mr Watkin said.

"You have to have two hands and just slow it down in the corners to get it around, and away you go."

Image caption Sarah Jones, from Holland, took part while visiting family in Denbigh

Denbigh-born Sarah Jones now lives in the Netherlands but was visiting family over Christmas in her hometown.

She came third in the women's competition.

"I'd never even touched a barrel before in my life, let alone rolled one, so it was all a bit of trial and error," she said.

"It was hard, and I hurt my thumb after the first go, but it was still great fun."

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