Five King Country shearers will set a new five-stand nine-hour record for shearing strong wool lambs in late December.
A team of King Country shearers are preparing to set a new five-stand nine-hour world record for strong wool lambs later this month.
The five shearers, aged between 18 and 35, all work for Te Kuiti-based Fagan Shearing and will attempt to establish a new mark at Te Pa Station, Ruapehu on December 22.
Fagan Shearing owners Neil and Stacy Fagan are coordinating the record attempt. Neil says the five-member team – Delwyn Jones, Llion Jones, Jack Fagan, Reuben Alabaster and Kelly Brill – have been working hard to prepare for the big day.
“They each have personal trainers and are fully focused on this attempt. One of them has shed 15 kilograms with his fitness regime. Shearing at this level is a serious scientific activity,” Neil said.
“On the day each shearer works with his own five-person support team, everyone with a specific role to minimise the time spent shearing each sheep. Plenty of time and effort goes into putting in the best possible performance and setting a record that will be difficult to match.
“Although they all have their own targets, during a nine-hour day, you have five shearers for a combined total of 162,000 seconds on the boards. They aim for a range between 40 and 45 seconds per sheep. When you save a second here or there, every second adds up through the day.”
Neil says there is a large, motivated team of volunteers working together behind the scenes to make sure the event comes off successfully.
“Our host, Te Pa Station, along with its owner Atihau Whanganui Incorporation, is giving us huge support. These five individuals know that they wouldn’t be able to do it on their own, and the day belongs to the whole community,” he said.
Well-known shearing personality Sir David Fagan is also helping out with the record attempt. He says bringing the community together is an important part of the day.
“Due to covid, during the past two years competitive shearing has been constrained, along with everything else. That includes the recent cancellation of the Golden Shears, so it is really heartening to see a big event like this come together,” Fagan said.
“Rural communities love giving something like this a crack, and people are always willing to show their support. Whenever I was involved in attempting a record like this, I was humbled to see the effort that goes into it from so many other people.
“This is one of the only gang attempts that has not been done before, so there will be a world record established at the end of the day, in which case the aim is to set a good high mark for others to have a go at in the future.”
The attempt will start at 5am, comprising five separate runs, broken by breakfast, morning smoko, lunch and afternoon smoko, finishing at 5pm.
In order to enter Te Pa Station all shearers, volunteers and others attending are required to be double vaccinated and to scan their vaccine passports. Covid restrictions mean there will be no spectators permitted to watch the attempt.