Fully armoured medieval knights will be smashing it out in full-contact combat in the annual Trans-Tasman battle for supremacy during the weekend.
The Tattoo Cup, New Zealand's largest event in the fast-growing sport of historical medieval battle, is being held at the Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre tomorrow and Sunday.
The event is being organised by Tauranga Armoured Combat and Waikato Armoured Combat along with The International Tattoo and Art Expo.
The battle for the Tattoo Cup is the chance to watch individual knights duel with matched weapons over three rounds.
It's a real spectacular event and a great spectator sport.
Tauranga Armoured Combat captain Charlie Tapsell said about 20 knights from New Zealand would compete against 15 to 17 Australians.
As well as the Tauranga and Waikato knights, B-Company from Auckland, Steel Thorns from Taranaki and a team from the lower North Island made up the Kiwi combat team, he said.
Mr Tapsell said knights battled toe-to-toe in the pro-fights, the mixed martial arts of medieval combat, with grapples, takedowns, and, of course, with weapons. Points were awarded for the number of solid hits a knight scored against his opponent.
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Mr Tapsell said the battles culminated in an amazing spectacle of four-on-four group fights where the last team standing wins.
The winning team at the end of the tournament takes home Australasia's most prestigious historical medieval battle prize: The Tattoo Cup.
Mr Tapsell said the full-contact combats took the more sedate medieval battle re-enactments to another level.
"It's a real spectacular event and a great spectator sport, and we hope to get up to 2000 people to come along to watch this Trans-Tasman battle for supremacy. All together the organisers expect about 10,000 people to come through the doors of the centre over the two days."