FORGET the Derby - for anyone near Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, at the weekend there was an altogether different sporting tradition to watch.

The horses at Epsom provided no competition as a spectacle compared to the town's madcap annual bed race - and thousands gathered to watch.

The bed race was first run in 1966, the year England won the World Cup, and after Friday's England result in Japan, organisers were hoping that was an omen for fresh success this year.

About 40 teams took part in the race, which follows a two-and-a half-mile course, taking in some of the town's steep hills, as well as a ducking in the river.

Each team was made up of six pushers and one passenger, whose job was to cling on for dear life as the beds hurtled through the town.

While some teams were in it purely for the fun, others take the race very seriously, training hard, and developing streamlined beds in the hope of securing victory.

The event's reputation has travelled far and wide over the years, and this year's winners, who completed the course in less than 14 minutes, were the Bebra Powermen, who had travelled from Knaresborough's German twin town to take part.

The event, which is organised by Knaresborough Lions Club, has raised tens of thousands of pounds for good causes over the years.