Dry sheep vital for crack at record

23:57, Feb 04 2013
Dwayne Black
Champion shearer Dwayne Black attempting to set a new shearing record at Bendigo, Australia, in 2005.
Cam Ferguson
World Champion Shearer Cam Ferguson competes at the 14th Golden Shears World Shearing Championships in 2010.
Cam Ferguson
Current World Shearing Champ Cam Ferguson in action at the Winton A&P Show in 2012.
Jimmy Clark
New world eight hour ewe record holder Jimmy Clark receives his prize from wife Jackie after breaking the record near Blackmount in 2008.
Jimmy Clark
Darin Ford encourages Jimmy Clark during the world three stand lamb shearing record attempt by Clark and brothers Peter and Shane Harvey, at Mt Linton Station, Ohai, in 2006.
Jimmy Clark
Darin Forde, left, and Craig Anderson watch Jimmy Clark as he is on his way to a new world eight hour ewe shearing record at Wairaki station in 2008.
Sam Welch
Waikato shearer Sam Welch pictured during an attempt on the World two-stand ewe-shearing record for nine hours in which he and Te Kuiti shearer Stacey Te Huia were hoping to beat a tally of 1335 set 16 years ago by Southland shearers Darin Forde and Wayne Ingram. The record attempt was taking place at Te Hape, east of Benneydale in the King Country in 2012.

A shearing world record attempt in Mossburn today was almost cancelled because judges had to wait for the sheep to dry after yesterday's rain.

Organisers were busy drying off more than 3000 sheep, some with blowers, so judges could get accurate wool weight samples.

Up to 1000 people are expected to watch two Southland shearers join forces with the North Island for their first-ever world record attempt, near Mossburn.

Invercargill shearer Leon Samuels, Ohai's Eru Weeds and North Island shearers James Mack and John Kirkpatrick will set the previously unattempted Heiniger four-stand crossbred lambs eight-hour world record.

Gearing up for the event yesterday, Samuels said he was getting nervous because it was his first time at trying to set a world record.

"We're all in the same boat.

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"Hopefully we should be all right," he said.

It was lucky the nerves did not get in the way of a good night's sleep, unlike some of the other shearers, he said.

Alexandra shearing contractor Dion Morrell, who is timekeeping for Kirkpatrick, said there was quite a good team around each shearer.

"Knowing those four shearers we're expecting quite a solid number of sheep to come out of them.

"They've got fairly high expectations of themselves," he said.

The event was about endurance, rhythm, timing and shearing quickly, he said.

Morrell set four shearing world records and still holds one from 1993.

Contractor and event organiser Brendon Potae said the shearers had been training like athletes, putting in up to 18 hours training a week for seven months, on top of fulltime work.

"The training is for endurance.

"A lot of pool work, gym, bike, aerobics," he said.

But the past two days had been about restoring energy by resting and eating. "Records are made to be challenged and broken; if they shear 2700 we'll be pretty happy."

World Shearing Records Society secretary Hugh McCarroll said the wet weather posed a problem yesterday with organisers unsure if the event would go ahead.

The warmer the weather, the easier and faster the wool is removed from the sheep.

Samuels will be supported by Winton contractor Darrin Forde as timekeeper and Tuatapere woolhandler Bernadette Forde.

Woolhandler Diane Weeds will be helping out her son.

The challenge is at Centre Hill Station, near Mossburn, from 7am to 5pm.

The Southland Times