Napier shearer Steve Stoney is all set for a pre-dawn start today in his bid to become the oldest holder of the World solo nine-hour strongwool lambshearing record, after being given the thumbs-up by an Australasian panel of judges in a crucial shakedown yesterday afternoon.
Stoney, 41, shore 20 of the open-face romdale-cross lambs in front of the four judges at Kahuranaki Station east of Hastings, the combined woolweight of 19kg meeting the World Sheep Shearing Records Society's requirement for an average fleece weight over 900g. The event would have been called-off if the threshold wasn't met.
The day comprises five runs, from 5-7am, 8-9.45am, 10.15am-Noon, 1-2.45pm, and 3.15-5pm, and the official counts at the end of each run by judges Mark Baldwin, of Australia, 1980s record holder and Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman John Fagan, now of Waihi, King Country farmer Doug Oliver, and former top shearer Colin Gibson, of Oamaru, will soon indicate whether Stoney is on target.
Father-of-two Stoney will be chasing fellow Hawke's Bay shearer Dion King's record January 2007 record of 866 - an average of one lamb every 37.41 seconds including catching time.
He begins the attempt 42 minutes before sunrise, aiming to hit a pace exceeding 24 a quarter-hour, with his first target the record-breaking 196 King shore in the first two hours to breakfast in his triumph.
Hawkes Bay Today will be posting the results online as they come in throughout the day.