Today we're wishing our man Kurt Bayer all the best as he sets his sights on taking on the best gumboot throwers in the country.

Christchurch-based Herald reporter Bayer will line up in the final of the National Gumboot Throwing Championship in Palmerston North - one of the headline events of the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games.

Bayer secured his spot in the national final after finishing third in the South Island Championships late last month.

His was the third-longest throw - a mighty 31.87m effort - after deciding to give it a go while at Lincoln University's rugby fields on assignment for the Herald.


The national men's record stands at 49.35m, while the women's record is 34.45m.

"I went as a reporter and left a gumboot throwing champ," Bayer wrote about his achievements in the South Island champs.

The gumboot nationals will be held today, on the opening day of the two-day rural games.

Other events include speed sheep shearing, speed fencing against the clock, sheep dog trials, wood chopping and cowpat tossing.

Toyota ambassador and two-time Olympic shot put champion Dame Valerie Adams will be in attendance for the weekend, with games founder and trustee Steve Hollander saying he hoped the Kiwi champ would give gumboot throwing a crack.

"We are absolutely delighted that Dame Valerie is able to fit us into her hectic schedule," he said.

"She is one of the greatest athletes this country has ever produced and a wonderful inspiration for all Kiwis to get out there and keep active, whether that's in athletics or some of the quirkier rural sports we have at the games.

"I have no doubt that she would absolutely smash the current New Zealand women's gumboot throwing record of 34.45m set at last year's games and I reckon the world record of 49.25m is seriously under threat if she gave this a go."