James Ihaka

James Ihaka is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Aussie bachelor says he's got the class to show up Kiwis

Rural bachelors Sam Trethewey, 29, from Australia and local boy Fergus King, 26, from Matamata, were first home in the Amazing Race. Photo / Christine Cornege
Rural bachelors Sam Trethewey, 29, from Australia and local boy Fergus King, 26, from Matamata, were first home in the Amazing Race. Photo / Christine Cornege

Australian farmer Sam Trethewey says there is just one factor that separates him from a bunch of strapping New Zealand hopefuls all vying to win the Fieldays Rural Bachelor of the Year award.

"Class," he said. "We don't wear stubbies or beanies over there, mate, we do things with a bit of class."

The 29-year-old who farms merino sheep, beef and various crops on a property near Bannockburn, southwest of Melbourne, is one of eight rural Romeos competing for a $20,000-plus prize pool in the popular Fieldays event that's making a comeback after a year's absence.

One of three Australians, Mr Trethewey entered after a friend tweeted that he should give it a go and show up the local talent.

The bachelors were flown to Wellington on Monday in an Amazing Race twist that saw the group paired up and put in campervans before being sent on their way to negotiate a number of challenges on their way back to Mystery Creek.

After a visit to the rugby museum, the National Army Museum in Waiouru, a stay in "some small New Zealand town" fishing for prawns near Taupo, luging in Rotorua, sprinting to the top of Mt Maunganui and harness racing in Cambridge, Mr Trethewey and his Matamata dairy farmer partner, Fergus King, crossed the line first yesterday at Mystery Creek.

The pair have no idea of what's in store for them over the next four days and organisers are giving little away on what they can expect, although it will be a series of agricultural-based challenges and at least one catwalk.

Asked how he rated his chances, Mr Trethewey said; "Fairly high, especially against this lot.

"If it's anything to do with sheep, cattle or tractors I'm pretty confident."

Mr King, 26, said his idea of a perfect date was taking someone to Wairere Falls for a walk to look back over his farm. "And while we are walking up there there is a roast lamb cooking in the oven and some nice wine waiting at home," he said.

"I'm really here for a good time but to get a nice lady would be good."

The other contestants for the Rural Bachelor of the Year are Andrew Blake from New South Wales, Glenn Hammond from Canterbury, Monty Bamford from Canterbury, Simon Washer from Taranaki, Dan Korff from Victoria and Tom Biesly from Gordonton.

James Ihaka

- NZ Herald

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