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HYDRAULICS engineer Andy Hay proved he is an expert in liquids by winning the 13th World Walking the Plank Championships at Queenborough on Sunday.
He scored top marks with a double somersault after being pushed into the briny by Sheppey Pirates’ leader Captain Cutlass.
Andy, 40, of Harold Street, Queenborough, said he was delighted but shocked at the result.
He said: “This was only my second attempt. I thought it would take at least five years to work my way up to champion. It was a total shock. I was not expecting it.”
He entered last year after moving to the Isle of Sheppey. This year he went as Dread Pirate Walka da Plank. Watching him was his wife Vicky, who dressed as Cutthroat Vicky. She said: “I am very proud of Andy. We were thinking of jumping together but I chickened out at the last minute. I didn’t want to get my costume wet.”
Newcomer Jochen Bouman, 36, from Holland finished second as the Dying Flutchman. He shocked spectators by hobbling off the plank with one leg, although it turned out his missing leg was strapped behind. The crematorium technician now lives in Queenborough Road, Sheppey.
In third place was former champion Long John Lenton. The 38-year-old lorry driver from Queenborough returned as Top Gear’s The Stig and The Stig Too in two white boiler suits, one full of helium balloons which floated into the sky after Long John plunged off the plank of the Salty Sea Pig.
Judges also commended father-of-five Marvin Blackstock, 36, of Appleford Drive, Minster, for turning up as Titanic captain James Smith. Crowd-pleaser Marvin created a scale model of the doomed ship before hurling himself onto a floating polystyrene iceberg.
Last year’s champion Mad Mike Young of Parsonage Chase, Minster, set fire to his arms before jumping into the water. Regular planker Captain McTyckle, alias Scotsman Marco Devereaux, brought a huge roar from the 1,000-strong crowd as he jumped while strapped into a converted wheelie bin. He told spectators the Loch Ness Monster had set up home in Queenborough Harbour and he was using the submersible Beastie Bin to seek it out. As he resurfaced he could be seen thrashing about in the water fighting a giant inflatable crocodile.
Julia McDougall, 55, of St Helen’s Road, Sheerness, and Karen Lawton, 42, of Hustlings Drive, Eastchurch, raised more than £400 jumping for new Sheppey charity Harmony Therapy Trust.
Also in the crowd was former champion Heini “The Mad Dane” Nielsen. The 65-year-old marine engineer from Denmark is still unable to “plank” after falling down an engine room ladder and breaking his collar bone just before last year’s championships.
Captain Cutlass said: “We were delighted and surprised by the quality and ingenuity of this year’s contestants. They really excelled themselves. There were only six points between the top five and everyone had higher marks than last year. They are all truly world class plankers.”
But he added: “We had been worried because it was our 13th championship. We pirates are very superstitious. Advance bookings were low but on the day we managed a full complement of 25 victims, er, contestants. I’d like to thank everyone for taking part and everyone else who helped us.”
Andy Hay won £100 cash, a crate of Shepherd Neame Spitfire ale, a shield to keep for a year and a certificate. All contestants will be sent certificates welcoming them to the order of world class plankers. All plankers were given a bottle of Spitfire ale as they emerged from the water.
The judges were Ray Seager, president of co-sponsors Minster-on-Sea Rotary Club, Dean Smith, chairman of Isle of Sheppey Round Table which helped launch the contest in 1997 and Lee Ewart of the BRFM radio road show and a member of Relay For Life.
Plankers were marked out of 10 in four categories: use of piratical language; originality of costume; execution of jump, including height of after-splash, and the R (arrgh) Factor.
(Position, name, planking number, planking name, points)
1.  Andy Hay (jumper 20, Dread Pirate Walka da Plank), 102;
2. Jochen Bouman (10, one-legged Dying Flutchman), 100;
3. Long John Lenton (24, Stig & Stig Too balloons), 99;
4. Mick Lee (18, Dopey Mick with scooter), 97;
5. Marvin Blackstock (25, Titanic captain), 96;
6. Marco Devereaux (22, Captain Tyckle HMS Hasbin), 91;
7. Adam Reader (8, black basque), 89;
8. Malcolm Kemsley (23, Triple Vision vodka bottle for RNLI),88;
9. Eddie Jamieson (6, Davey Jones), 86;
10. Mike Young (2, Mad Mike on fire), 80;
11. Karen Jones (11, Sexy Security for Charlotte’s Day), 78;
12. Joe Tasker (21, Shark Tooth), 76:
13. Karen Lawton (5, Hands On Approach Too, Mermaid), 75;
14. Sam Crawley (7, Kingsburg Pirate), 74;
15. Jackie Constable (13, cowgirl), 68;
16= Lisa Kerr (12, Lisa Legs), 67;
16= Scott Morrice (9, pinstripe trousers), 67;
18. Carl Marchant (1, Kimodo Lockjaw), 62;
19. Elli (orange top), 60;
20= Denna O’Bray (16, Princess Quanzuela), 57;
20= Shona Just (15, underwear), 57;
22. Tyrone Back (3, Tyrone, black T-shirt), 54;
23. Hazel Tasker (14, Hazy, purple T-shirt), 51;
24. Julia McDougall (4, Hands On Approach), 50;
25. James Hammond  (17, Top Gear), 46.

1997, Joanne Kavanagh (English);
1998, Peter Marchington (English);
1999, Heini Nielsen (Danish);
2000, Heini Nielsen (Danish, second win);
2001, Lord Swale (English);
2002, Mad Mike (English);
2003 Heini Nielsen, (Danish, third win);
2004, Mad Mike (English, second win);
2005, abandoned;
2006, Long John Lenton (English);
2007, Long John Lenton (English);
2008, Heini Nielsen (Danish, fourth win);
2009, Mad Mike (English, third win)
2010, Andy Hay (English)