World Cabbage Hurling Championships held in Lincolnshire

Cabbage hurling
Image caption The cabbage hurlers are based on trebuchets

Cabbages are being hurled from large catapult-like machines in what is claimed to be the first sporting event of its kind in the UK.

The hurlers are based on trebuchets, weapons used to fling projectiles in the Middle Ages.

Inventor John Ward made a pair for the World Cabbage Hurling Championships, being held in Lincolnshire.

It is part of the two-day Holbeach Town and Country Fayre, which started on Saturday.

The hurlers, named Spotted Hen and Spotted Dick, threw cabbages over a distance of 230ft (70m) in tests.

Mr Ward then adapted them so they are less dangerous and only hurl the cabbages about 98ft (30m).

'Quite lethal'

He said: "It's basically a glorified catapult but you've got a counterbalance on one end. Think of a see-saw with a big weight on one end.

"They are based loosely on the trebuchet design but I have detuned them as with a full weight, they would be quite lethal."

Cabbages are typically grown in Lincolnshire, where the fertile soil is ideal for brassica crops.

The county also hosted a bowling competition played with cabbages, as part of celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Mr Ward said the hurling championships promoted Lincolnshire products, with more than 200 cabbages being supplied free of charge by a local farmer.

Annual event

"Most fresh vegetables found in shops and supermarkets will have come from Lincolnshire, plus those to the frozen food industry as well," said Mr Ward.

"We've got cabbages in Lincolnshire and what better way to get them to your customer than using a trebuchet."

He made the hurlers, which are about 11ft (3.4m) tall, from recycled "bits and pieces" that would otherwise have gone in a skip.

Mr Ward now hopes the event will be held either annually or every other year.

"Nobody is doing cabbage chucking and hurling in other places with a trebuchet," he said.

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