Sun, fun and competition
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.
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.