Chaos with cherries
Malaysian fruitpicker Chiew Er Lee is refusing to wash the shirt she wore, while competing in Cherry Chaos on Sunday.
‘‘I [will] keep it like this for next year’’ Lee said as she joined with fellow backpackers in praising the day for its fun and laughter, and a chance to throw cherries instead of picking or carefully grading them.
In other parts of the Teviot Valley washing machines will be working overtime, struggling to remove cherry stain from clothes that need to survive the onslaught of red.
It was billed as get down and get dirty, and more than 20 teams of six did just that at the Roxburgh Sportsground on Sunday.
The community had said some time ago they wanted a way to promote the areas great fruit crops, and Cherry Chaos was seen as a way to do that by the Teviot Prospects group.
Each year a certain amount of fruit is not suitable for export, but this long, hot and dry summer meant the availability of the fruit was restricted.
There was still enough to create a layer of overripe fruit under a cherry net for competitors to scramble through, before negotiating a wheelbarrow slalom, a wall climb and slide before making their way through bins of cherries while being pelted by the opposing team.
Overall winners were the Southern Hotshots, six Vanuatuan boys who mastered the course in 47.31 seconds.
The Roxburgh Fire Brigade were on hand to hose down sticky bodies at the end of the run for those who wanted it, with the thirsty ground quickly absorbing any moisture on offer.
Friends, workmates and family groups made up the teams with encouragement from the sideline, especially when the wheelbarrow toppled or climbing the wall required an extra heave.
Red: Some were
washed, other shirts still showed
signs of Cherry Chaos enjoyment for these five international fruitpickers from left Yunsu Choi (Korea) holding Jaroslav Buchla (Slovakia) Li Min Ong (Malaysia) Eva Polyecsko (seated, Hungary) and Chiew Er Lee (Malaysia).