He ha¯ kinakina ka kaha te whanake
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.