Sun, fun and com­pe­ti­tion

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By SUE FEA

Invit­ing TV weath­er­man Jim Hickey as celebrity guest must have done the trick be­cause the Wakatipu turned out its best weather in weeks on Satur­day for the 99th Lake Hayes A & P Show. Hot, sunny weather com­bined with a great line-up of fun events proved the show is still one of the dis­trict’s big­gest crowd pullers. Sev­eral hun­dred ea­ger fans gath­ered around the show ring for the grand pa­rade, fol­lowed by the in­fa­mous Lawn­mower Race. There was plenty of up­front bravado and friendly ban­ter from the male-dom­i­nated field in both the lawn­mower and the run­ning mower races. Mys­tery en­trant ‘‘The Stig’’, who did not wish to be iden­ti­fied, turned out in a Ford Fair­lane con­vert­ible, but his pre-race vic­tory lap failed him and a fake fire in his en­gine at the fin­ish line failed to im­press the judges. Reign­ing Alexan­dra mower king Alan McCrostie man­aged to out­smart his com­peti­tors, in­clud­ing en­durance cham­pion Steve Gur­ney and his team­mate Ge­off Wood­house on their tan­dem bike tow­ing a mo­tor mower. Un­like the 2011 race, no­to­ri­ous for its side-on shunt and punch-up be­tween ri­val com­peti­tors, en­trants stuck to the rules with the judges and com­pere as­sur­ing be­fore­hand that there would be ‘‘no fisticuffs this year’’. A de­lighted Greer fam­ily, with as­sis­tance from mum Denise Greer took out the pres­ti­gious new Un­cle Ber­tie’s ‘‘Best in Show’’ Cup for their amaz­ing pea­cock cre­ated from wil­low branches. The new sil­ver-plated tro­phy was do­nated by the now late ‘‘Un­cle Ber­tie’’, a reg­u­lar win­ner at past shows. His home­made gin and white­bait, ba­con, lamb and kid­ney cake has tick­led the judges’ taste­buds for years. The cup was kept un­der lock and key amid tight se­cu­rity un­til its first pub­lic un­veil­ing at the weekend. Bak­ers and home brewers were out in force in the blokes only sec­tion, prov­ing that they could come up with plenty of ideas the girls hadn’t yet thought of in the kitchen. Hobby wine­maker Kevin Ar­gyle took out top male brewer for his de­li­cious Pinot Noir and Gewurtz­traminer wines, with John Ward’s spec­tac­u­lar beer only a hair’s breadth be­hind. Judges were im­pressed with the in­no­va­tions, in­clud­ing a quince liqueur en­try. Lower Sho­tover 12-year-old Jamie Coyle took the cake in the chil­dren’s bak­ing, win­ning first prize for a beau­ti­fully-dec­o­rated love heart cake she de­signed for her favourite pop star, Tay­lor Swift. Kay Greenslade won the fash­ion in the field sec­tion for her coun­try-style home-maker, baker and gar­dener apron, com­plete with a bas­ket laden with bak­ing, plants and a Yates gar­den­ing book and an Ed­monds Cook­book tucked in the pocket. ◗ The win­ner of the Mir­ror com­pe­ti­tion cor­rectly guessed the num­ber of bal­loons as 101.

Pho­tos: SUE FEA 628830370

Team work: En­durance ath­lete Steve Gur­ney and his Queen­stown team-mate Ge­off Wood­house and their tan­dem con­trap­tion.

King of the Lawn: Alan McCrostie, of Alexan­dra, took out the Lake Hayes A & P Show lawn­mower race for the third year run­ning.

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