JOINER James McCormick is feeling wunderbar today (Saturday) after winning an Oktoberfest fancy-dress competition…with his "close friend" Veronica.

James, from Saltburn, took first prize in the competition at the annual Oktoberfest Beer Festival meeting at Redcar Races for dressing in traditional lederhosen while “riding” a dummy fraulein.

He confessed to being a bit worried when he first arrived at the seaside racecourse because he thought no one else had turned up in fancy-dress.

"I panicked because I didn't want to look out of place, but it's all worked out well in the end. It’s one of the best experiences of my life.”

Asked what had inspired him to enter the competition, James added: “It was Veronica's idea to enter – she talked me into it. She’s very persuasive.”

James came for a day out to celebrate his friend Kris Dixon's 33rd birthday. Kris and his wife Emma, from Redcar, came second in the fancy-dress competition.

Third place went to Steve and Kerri Hornby, also of Redcar.

James won four VIP tickets to a future Redcar meeting, complete with a three-course meal, as well as a Theakston Brewery tour.

Kris and Emma won four tickets to a Redcar meeting, while Steve and Kerri won two tickets.

Entertainment was provided throughout the day by the Yorkshire Oompah Band, who were back by popular request, and race-goers were also able to enjoy steins on tap and sizzling bratwurst.

The racegoers included Andy Wyness, who travelled from Motherwell, in Scotland, for his stag do ahead of his wedding to Sandra Wilson next week.

Andy, pictured below, said: “It’s been a brilliant day – it’s my first time at Redcar but I think I’ll be coming back next year with Sandra for our first anniversary.”

Redcar’s general manager Amy Fair said: “Oktoberfest day combines high quality racing with lots of fun and this year’s fancy-dress competition was probably the best yet. So many people enter into the spirit of the occasion by dressing up and it all adds up to a fantastic atmosphere.”

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