IT is hardly a shot put or javelin, but launching a pea nearly 30 metres down the road in autumnal weather is no mean feat.

That is what dozens of pub revellers did yesterday as they competed in the annual World Pea Throwing Championship.

The Lewes Arms pub, in Mount Place, Lewes, hosted the annual sporting event which was again raising money for the Sasha Roberts Scholarship Fund, set up in memory of a regular customer killed in a road accident in 2006.

Graham Butterworth, 33, from Portsmouth, lifted the golden hand-holding-a-pea trophy at the end of the afternoon after tossing the vegetable an incredible 28.67metres.

Sharing the secrets of his success, the Royal Naval reservist said: “You have got to make sure that you pick a pea that has few indents, because that affects its aerodynamic qualities. I spent a long time choosing mine.

“And you need a fast throwing arm, so cricketers would do well at it.”

Dean Simpson, 54, from Chichester, reached a respectable 21.4 metres with the first throw of the day.

The bomb disposal engineer, who recently returned frome working abroad, said: “I was first to throw so I was briefly the world champion, although it did not last long, but it was nice while it lasted.

“It has been a good day, a nice family day out.”

Leland Carlson, author of Dull Men of Great Britain, a book celebrating eccentric and mundane past-times of the country, was also among the 50 or so competitors.

The American author, now living in the UK, joked: “I say it is an event for men who find pea-shooting too exciting.”

Lewes Arms landlady Abi Mawer, who kept up the tradition started by her predecessor, provided the peas thawed to perfect consistency for throwing.

She added: “We owe a lot to the pea-spotters lined up along the route. It is really difficult because they end up in trees sometimes, or they land and then roll.”

Reflecting on the start of the tradition more than 15 years ago, she said: “I think it was just an idea that came from people chatting at the bar, and rather than just talking about it, we decided to do it.”