A crowd packed into a King Country woolshed had to wait till the last moments of a 480-minutes day before seeing a world ewe-shearing record broken by just two sheep this afternoon.
Shearing at Te Hape, east of Benneydale on State Hioghway 30 between Te Kuiti and Taupo, Coel L'Huillier, of Te Akau, and Kelvin Walker, of Taumarunui, shore 1068 to beat the two-stand eight-hours strongwool ewes record.
The previous record of 1066 had been set by brothers Rowland and Doug Smith on January11, 2011 at Waitara Station, north of Napier-Taupo highway landmark Te Pohue.
L'Huillier, who in 2013 helped set a five-stand lambshearing record, shore successive two-hour runs of 134, 133, 135 and 135 for a total of 537, while record-attempt newcomer Walker shore 134, 130, 133 and 134 for a total of 531.
The record bid started with rain falling outside at 7am, but it got finer and warmer as the day stretched into the afternoon.
The pair needed a combined 268 in the last run from afternoon smoko, matching the 268s of the first and third runs, and supporters stood in applause as the pair each hit the pens for their last crucial catches moments before the clock struck 5pm.
Meanwhile, another record bid less than 30km away tomorrow has been given the go-ahead after a pre-record wool-weigh before two World Sheep Shjearing Records Society judges late this afternoon.
South Island shearer Ryan Miller and Welsh shearers Delwyn Jones and Matthew Evans will be targeting the three-stand strongwool lambs record of 1784 in eight hours at Mangapehi, west of Benneydale.
The target is a record set in January 1999 by King Country shearers Richard (Digger) Balme, Roger Neil and Dean Ball.
A sample shear of 20 lambs realised 24.9kg of wool, the 1.245kg a lamb comfortably meeting the minimum requirement of 0.9kg a lamb.
The record bid will also start at 7am.