Browns will be domain of champions

JOHN LANGFORD
Last updated 14:53 10/01/2014

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All roads lead to Browns tomorrow for the 116th edition of the annual sports day.

The Browns Sports is the longest- running event of its kind in the province.

"If the weather is fine then we hope to see the domain packed with up to 2000 spectators," president Lyn Lindsay said.

The day is more than just an athletics event, but, like the Olympics, the atmosphere is usually at its peak when starter Laurie Redcastle pulls the trigger to start the 100m sprints.

The track and field events are popular with young and old, the addition of hurdle races this year adds excitement, along with the recall of the family relay; an event which the Laughtons dominated for a decade.

Grass track cycling events will be held after the majority of competitors have first taken part in the 40km road race from Lorneville to Browns. Tandem cyclists Wayne and Faye Rule will miss the road race to concentrate on the Jack and Jill log-sawing event.

The Browns champion standing chop is the feature bushcraft event, with the under hand, the single saw, the double saw and axe throwing also on the card.

The South Island sheaf tossing gives the sports day a point of difference.

In recent years two local mechanics have faced off in the final to determine who holds their workshop dominance.

The mountain bike race proved popular in its inaugural staging last year.

The majority of the improved 10km course is contested on Ralph Hamilton's nearby farm.

Little Isla is flying back from Melbourne to defend her title in the baby competition.

The Browns Ideal Woman event attracts plenty of spectator interest. Contestants will find out the required tasks on the day, but typical farming duties like stacking hay bales and opening big bottles are likely to be on the agenda.

Highland dancing, mini jeeps, face painting, lolly scrambles, etc, will entertain the kids, while the guarantee of a friendly smile makes it well worth stopping at Gregor Colin's stall to guess the weight of his prize hogget and calf.

Later in the day the speed shearing is staged on the deck of a McDowall Transport truck. The locals will be glad to see Dean Munro and Brent Johnstone lacing up the moccasins. This event serves as an ideal opportunity for Southland's gun shearers to fine-tune their skills before the Winton A&P Show next weekend.

"We are lucky to have great prizes supplied from our local businesses," Lindsay said.

The day begins at noon but if the weather is rough people are encouraged to tune in to Hokonui Gold for a possible postponement notice.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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