A Dannevirke attempt on the eight stand nine-hour world lamb shearing record has been in the pipeline for at least six months and was originally scheduled for January 2021 at Waewaepa Station in the Waitahora.
Unfortunately global pandemic conditions have postponed the official attempt until January 2022 because the challenge requires at least one judge from outside New Zealand.
The inaugural meeting of the personnel in Sutton Shearing met at the Dannevirke Domain in June to start the process of launching a challenge for the eight stand nine-hour world lamb shearing record which has stood for 50 years.
It was set at Mangarapa Station in Hawke's Bay on December 5, 1970 and like most shearing world records can only be competed for by regular shearing gangs and not a set of hand-picked champions.
Rod Sutton thinks he has the team to take the record. He even has two uncles who were in the gang which set the record 50 years ago and they both want to be there to see the challenge.
To mount a challenge like this takes huge organisation, time, money and support. For this reason all the whanau were invited to the first meeting and the team wants the community behind them when they compete.
The team has been in heavy fitness training twice a week since Covid-19 restrictions lifted, swimming at Wai Splash pool, running, cycling and cross-training at Activate Gym.
Not to waste all that effort, the team decided to hold a practice attempt at Waewaepa Station on January 23, 2021 because many of the shearers have not competed in a world record attempt before.
They also have to get used to shearing in a closed board situation as opposed to an open board normal set-up and both Rod and good mate Nigel Brown and even the Porangahau connection will be there to give advice and help to make sure it is as authentic as possible.
The plan is to continue fitness training but to lessen its intensity a month before the event so that serious shearing practice on lambs can get the shearers up to speed. This fits into the normal lamb shearing contracts Sutton Shearing has on its books.
Rod Sutton and Nigel Brown are no strangers to world shearing events and are holders of the world two-stand nine-hour lamb shearing record. With their expertise the team looks to have a good chance of making it two world records but it is a long process.