The world's first ever beer mat flipping world championships took place this weekend.

The traditional pub pastime involves flipping a beer mat 180 degrees and then catching it with the same hand.

At the inaugural event competitors 'flipped' for almost five hours before two winners emerged victorious.

The Ship and Shovel Pub in Warsash hosted the event which attracted over 50 contestants.

Organiser Richard Banks, 37, explained that there were two categories at the packed out championships.

The first was the 'master flip' where competitors must flip the most beer mats at once.

The winner was Luke Collier, 30, from Warsash, who flipped an astonishing 65 beer mats at once.

The second was the 'speed flip' where wannabe world champions competed to be the quickest to flip ten beer mats.

This incredibly close category was eventually won by Pedro Balthazar, 41, who flipped the ten mats in a lightning quick time of 10.40 seconds.

Mr Balthazar, a swimming pool engineer from Warsash, said: "It was an eventful night in the end. It was my birthday as well.

"I only went down to support my mate who had entered and then decided to have a go myself.

"It was close right up until the last minute until I pulled off something amazing. I'm not sure we'll be seeing it in the Olympics anytime soon but it would certainly be very interesting."

Organiser Richard said: "The idea came to me while on a stag do earlier this year. Who doesn't want to be a World Champion?

"We gave people the chance and said all you need to do is flip a beer mat.

"Mat flipping is really about the 'flip' and the 'catch' mastering these two skills is a must.

"It was great fun, a magical atmosphere in the pub.

"The competition really heated up towards the end in the Master flip."

There are currently four Guinness world record categories - but until now no official world beer mat flipping champion.

In 2010 Dean Gould of Felixstowe, Suffolk, flipped and caught 35 beer mats with two fingers whilst blindfolded . He also set a new 'speed flipping' record with 800 successful flips in just 41.06 seconds.

Entrance for the February 8 event at the Ship and Shovel was £10 for adults and £5 for under 18s with all competitors getting unlimited attempts at each category.

In the end the event raised an impressive £500 for Breast Cancer Haven.