Fieldays competitions back in action

Competitors will be going head-to-head once again in the pinnacle events of New Zealand agriculture at the Fieldays this month.

At this year’s event, Fieldays visitors can head to the riverside to catch all the action with the tractor pull, fencing competitions, and the excavator competition now being held in the same location, so visitors can get their speed, endurance, and thrills in quick succession.

The Fieldays tractor pull, an iconic Fieldays event and crowd favourite that’s been revving since 1975, is back for 2021, and for tractor enthusiasts who are up for the challenge, entries to compete are open on the Fieldays website from Thursday, April 29.

Returning to the event for 2021 is organiser Daniel Reymer, who is looking forward to this year’s Fieldays tractor pull, after the national event couldn’t go ahead last year. He’s excited to race, but also to have a good catch up with his friends and fellow competitors.

“I generally know everyone there, it’s always the same scene: we have a big catch up and a good yarn, then we go out on the track to try and beat each other.”

The weight adjusted class is the one to watch at tractor pull. It is generally only run at Fieldays and is where speed fanatics can get their fix.

“The weight adjusted is more like drag racing, it gets the nerves going as you’re watching the other person racing beside you, instead of waiting until the end to see who went the furthest.”

Unusual scenes

The Civil Contractors New Zealand Excavator Competition is a challenging test of skill and precision, as the competitors are required to complete tasks that are a bit out of the ordinary, says Civil Contractors Waikato branch secretary Nicki Carson.

Between opening beer bottles and transferring a manhole lid balancing a glass of wine, to painting and carefully placing a wire through a hoop, the competitors must demonstrate great skill to accomplish these unusual tasks.

“We normally get lots of people watching because of the unusual tasks the competitors have to complete under tight time constraints,” says Nicki.

Also returning to the event are New Zealand’s top fencers, who will compete in a match of speed, skill, and perseverance.

New Zealand Fencing Competitions events coordinator Debbie White says the fencing competitions are a showcase of industry best practice. The judging standards for fencing are set very high on a world stage, as they had to develop to keep up with the quality workmanship of the competitors.

Down to the wire

“At times, the judging process can come down to the judges bringing out a ruler and measuring the difference of a couple millimetres to distinguish between the fences,” says Debbie.

The Golden Pliers by Wiremark, the national singles title held on the Thursday, is a true endurance event. Competitors only have six-and-a-half hours to build 50 metres of nine-wire fence with three battens and hang a gate, with only a chainsaw and a post hole borer for mechanical support.

“It’s like a triathlon. The competitors are on the move, running, lugging equipment, and trying to keep themselves hydrated, otherwise their muscles start locking up.”

The doubles competition, the Silver Spades, will be held on the Friday, so eventgoers can scope out the pair that strikes a perfect balance between speed and quality.

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