The key to winning a ploughing competition was ploughing even, straight and uniform furrows.

That was the advice from veteran ploughing champion Alistair Rutherford who came second in the vintage class at the Upper Clutha ploughing competitions, at Hawea Flat on Saturday.

The retired Gore farmer was one of 13 entrants from around Canterbury, Otago and Southland who ploughed up and down a paddock in Hawea Flat for three hours, under grey skies.

Retired Gore farmer Alistair Rutherford competes in the Upper Clutha ploughing competitions at Hawea Flat on Saturday. Photo / Kerrie Waterworth
Retired Gore farmer Alistair Rutherford competes in the Upper Clutha ploughing competitions at Hawea Flat on Saturday. Photo / Kerrie Waterworth

He said the Hawea Flat competition ground was in "perfect condition" and the only thing missing was a bit of sunshine.

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Rutherford said he practised ploughing on his lifestyle block but the best practice was at the matches "because you are lining up next to someone else".

Organiser John Osborne said the move towards more surface cultivation on farms had turned ploughing into more of a sport.

Ploughing competition organiser John Osborne watches the field. Photo / Kerrie Waterworth
Ploughing competition organiser John Osborne watches the field. Photo / Kerrie Waterworth

He had hoped Saturday's event would have attracted more spectators but admitted one spectator once told him it was "a bit like watching paint dry".

Osborne is hoping to host the World Ploughing championships at the same Hawea Flat field in 2028, the 75th year of the event.