He ha¯ ki­nakina ka kaha te whanake

South Waikato News - - NEWS / HE PURONGORONGO -

There is more than one way to drive a lawn mower ac­cord­ing to Steve Isted.

The Toko­roa man has been ‘‘hooning’’ around race tracks on his grass cut­ter for four years now.

‘‘I saw it on TV and Googled it .. as you do,’’ he said.

And he wasted no time to check out the grow­ing sport in Hamil­ton.

‘‘One guy said ‘ jump on, have a go’ then I was hooked,’’ he said.

Isted is one of only a few lawn mower racers scat­tered around the South Waikato and one of the avid mem­bers of the Bay of Plenty Lawn Mower so­ci­ety.

From build­ing his own mower to rip­ping up the field, Isted said it is all about about the fun.

‘‘ You get to­gether, have a race and a yarn, then a beer and a bar­be­cue af­ter­wards,’’ he said.

The rac­ing is part of the fun but a lot of work goes into build­ing the per­fect mower.

Isted said al­though it is not too dif­fi­cult some start with­out re­al­is­ing the ef­fort that needs to go into it.

A ‘‘ba­sic mower’’ cant be turned into a lean, mean rac­ing ma­chine.

Isted has proved that with his four wheeled ma­chine that boasts a hot mo­tor and dou­ble valve.

But there is al­ways some­one to turn to if need be. ac­cord­ing to Isted.

‘‘With our sport we tend to help each other out.’’

That sense of ‘‘ca­ma­raderie’’ is felt on and off the field, he said.

Al­beit in a quirky fash­ion, lawn mower rac­ing fu­els Isted’s need for speed.

He even ad­mit­ted to revving up to a whop- ping 83 kilo­me­tres per hour once.

He will not risk blow­ing up his mo­tor but he said there is al­ways room to in­crease max­i­mum speed.

‘‘You al­ways want to go faster.’’

The keen racer hopes to see the sport grow fur­ther es­pe­cially in the South Waikato.

Isted said dif­fi­cul­ties around se­cur­ing ap­pro­pri­ate land make it hard to or­gan­ise reg­u­lar events.

An event is planned for March next year.

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