Chaos with cher­ries

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By BAR­BARA WITHING­TON

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.

Photo: BAR­BARA WITHING­TON 630384021

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).

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