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Winners beat 300 people to achieve top title at 2022 World Conker Championships

Winners beat 300 people to achieve top title at 2022 World Conker Championships

Fee Aylmore was named women’s champion and Randy Topolnitsky men’s champion at the 2022 World Conker Championships in Southwick

They came, they saw, and they certainly 'conkered'.

The winners of the 2022 World Conker Championships have been announced after battling it out at the weekend, in an event that welcomed 5,000 spectators from across the globe. 

The championships were held at Shuckburgh Arms in Southwick, Peterborough, on Sunday 9 October. 

More than 300 competitors went up against each other to destroy their rivals' conkers, with many choosing to don their finest fancy dress for the occasion – including an Elvis lookalike, a Spider-Man, one person dressed as a beer bottle and another wearing a bee outfit in tribute to her job as a beekeeper. 

Many people arrived in fancy dress, including someone dressed as a beer bottle.

After a series of dramatic games, the winners were finally crowned – Fee Aylmore named women’s champion, and Randy Topolnitsky reigining as the men’s champion. 

While Topolnitsky hails from Calgary in Canada, 49-year-old Aylmore lives just a few miles from Southwick. 

The school nurse said she was ‘thrilled’ by her win, which was something she’d been trying to achieve for more than three decades. 

Winners Fee Aylmore and Randy Topolnitsky 'conkered' the championship.
Medals were also given out.

Speaking to the Press Association, she said: “If you want something badly enough, keep doing it. 

“It took me 31 years of playing but eventually I won this year and I am totally thrilled.” 

Aylmore said the art of conkering runs in her family, with dad David Jakins – also known as ’King Conker’ being ‘the chat who officially starts the championships off’. 

She added: “Finally, all his efforts of teaching me how to play paid off.” 

The championships were held at Shuckburgh Arms in Southwick, Peterborough.

Since the World Conker Championships’ inception in 1965, a total of £420,000 has been raised for charity, with the main aim of the event to support charities helping the visually impaired. 

All competitors must follow a strict set of rules to ensure the event is as fair as possible. 

This includes all conkers and laces being provided by event organisers, with laces not allowed to be knotted further or distorted. 

Someone else came dressed as a bee.

Conkers are drawn blind from a bag, although players are allowed to reject up to three before settling on their weapon. 

To win, a player needs to smash their opponent’s conker, with new conkers drawn if both end up getting broken in the melee. 

Additionally, a minimum distance of no less than 20cm of lace must be between knuckle and conker for both the striking and receiving players, while further rules apply if a game lasts more than five minutes – with penalties also available for foul play. 

People seemed to be in good spirits.

James Packer, chairman of the World Conker Championships, said: “The women’s champion has been trying to win it for over 30 years – she’s finally managed to achieve that today. 

“The men’s champion is from Calgary, Canada – it’s one of the few times the trophy has been taken abroad.” 

Packer, who lives in Coalville, Leicestershire, said that seeing people at the event had been ‘tremendous’, adding: “It’s been a very friendly, fun, family afternoon.” 

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News