Tractors pulling crowds

New sport taking off

Last updated 05:00 28/08/2014
David Burroughs
Karel Vanloo behind the wheel of his souped-up tractor.

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Tractor pulling is taking off in Taranaki and organisers of the next event hope to pull a large crowd this weekend.

After running a successful event in Pihama, South Taranaki, earlier this year, Karel Vanloo hopes for a similar turnout at an event at the Volca No View restaurant on Egmont Rd on Saturday.

A crowd of about 300 people watched the Pihama event.

"They said they haven't seen so many people for a cricket game," he said.

It also attracted 32 competitors and Vanloo said he was expecting more to turn up this weekend.

Tractor pulling involves modified tractors carting a weighted sledge the furthest along a 100 metre track.

The sport is popular in Europe, especially in Vanloo's home country of Holland, as well as in Germany and he is hoping to build interest in this country through running similar competitions around Taranaki.

He said he had received some interest from overseas racers looking to compete here.

Vanloo said he was looking for a shed in Taranaki big enough to race in.

"I already looked at the TSB Stadium, but it's not large enough," Vanloo joked.

"They always start the season off with an indoor competition in Europe."

Saturday's competition starts at 11am.

David Burroughs is a Witt journalism student.

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