Locals in Lyme Regis, Dorset gather outside the Cobb Arms pub every year to see who can down a yard glass of beer in the quickest time

Every year, Lyme Regis, Dorset locals gather outside the Cobb Arms pub to see who can down the most beer in the quickest amount of time.

The RNLI has cancelled a traditional yard of ale contest in a seaside resort, fearing it might encourage binge drinking.

Locals from Lyme Regis and Dorset meet outside Cobb Arms every year to see if they can down a yard glass in the fastest time.

This popular and entertaining competition is part of Lifeboat Week, a series charity events that raise funds for the RNLI.

But the lifesaving charity has cancelled the yard of ale contest because it sent out the wrong message about drinking large quantities of alcohol near the water.

They also raised safety concerns regarding large crowds that could gather in front of a pub to watch the event. 

Conger Coddling, which involved people hitting rivals off a block of wood by swinging a dead Conger eel at them was banned in 2006 after 32 years.

Due to safety and health concerns, the pram derby, in which teams of’mothers’ and babies raced around a course, was also cancelled.

Gary Valentine, Cobb Arms landlord, stated that this was the first time he had heard of it being cancelled. The Lifeboat Week yard of ale contest is one of the highlights.

“It attracts large crowds and we have never experienced any trouble or problems before.

“Everyone stands outside to observe, half of the road is closed for it.

“There are not many people who manage to drink the whole lot of ale. The majority of them spill half the beer down their shirts.

“It’s a real shame. It has been around for at least ten year and this year was extremely popular.

“I can’t see any logic to it.” It’s very sad that they have made this decision.

Chris Higgs, reigning yard ale champion, drank his yard in just 9.5 seconds. He said, “Such a shame about losing the last true liveboat week event. I am proud that I am a multiple-time and reigning champ.

“It was great to see so many new faces trying their hand and such a great atmosphere.

“Let’s hope this isn’t the end of a great Lyme tradition.”

Lisa Blake, a local resident, posted online: “How did we ever survive our childhoods and teenage years?” The PC attitude has gone crazy.

Since the early 1970s, Lyme Regis has hosted the Lifeboat Week every summer. 

The pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 event. This year’s celebrations were hugely successful.

This year’s event raised £36,000 for the RNLI and the yard of ale competition attracted a record number of 25 people taking part.

RNLI has backed Yard of Ale events up to now.

A spokesperson for the lifesaving charity said that it was not appropriate to continue supporting it.

They stated that the decision to remove a ‘Yard of Ale” event from the Lyme Regis Lifeboat Week’s programme was made after considering safety concerns about large crowds gathered in front of a public house.

“In addition, the RNLI has always advocated responsible alcohol use on or near water and it no longer felt appropriate to encourage large amounts of alcohol consumption at events raising funds for lifesaving charities.