Former Marton shearer Stacey Te Huia is tackling the ultimate in shearing records in a woolshed near Masterton tomorrow.
Te Huia, already a multiple records holder, is making a third attempt at the solo nine-hour strongwool ewes record of 721, which was set by Hawke's Bay shearer Rodney Sutton nine years ago.
He will start shearing at the Mangarata-Taratahi Ag-Training Centre near Masterton at 5am with three hours of breaks for breakfast, lunch and morning and afternoon smoko.
To set the record he will have to catch, shear and despatch an average of at least 80 sheep an hour for the day to beat Sutton's record.
Te Huia, originally from Marton and now mainly based in Australia, holds three other world shearing records, including the finewool record of 530 in nine hours shorn on merinos near Dubbo, NSW, last February.
He is also the holder of the eight-hours strongwool record of 603 shorn near Bennydale in 2010, and in 2012 sheared 674 of the 1341 he and long-time friend and Waikaretu shearer Sam Welch posted in a two-stand ewes record for nine hours. He first entered the record books as a 20-year-old when he and brother Hayden set a two-stand record at the end of 1999.
Te Huia will have plenty of support from family, including parents and shearing industry trainers Dean and Jo Te Huia, and sister and fellow world record-holder Kerri-Jo, who returned from Australia a month ago to shear with her brother in his preparation. She will also head his woolhandling team on the day. Three World Sheep Shearing Records Society judges will oversee the record bid.