Events

Ohaupo and Fieldays tractor-pull results 2015

A round-up of the results from the Ohaupo and NZ National Fieldays tractor-pull competitions in 2015.

The weather was hosing down, cold and miserable, leaves blowing off the trees, it was a true wintery day. Luckily, the Ohaupo tractorpull was set for the next day, and by the time the kids’ rugby had finished the next morning, the ground had dried up and we were set for a great afternoon’s entertainment – farmer style.

With the scoop going hard on the track, sledge getting rolled off the truck and tractors rolling in the gate and over the weighbridge, tyre pressures getting dropped and weight being removed or added, the day was heating up quite nicely. The lawnmower racing guys started etching their track into the wet topsoil from the rain the day before as tractors started pulling up to the track. A great line-up of tractors soon saw a decent-sized queue form fairly quickly. The weather played its part after pouring down Friday and fine on Saturday the condition that the track would be in was questionable but we couldn’t have asked for a better track.

The big news was the first ever run from a brand-new sledge based in the Waikato. Its build and use is a real community effort and is available for anyone and everyone that is looking to run a tractorpull in their business, community or as a club event. Largely based on the basic design of Taranaki Tractorpull sledge, it has some similar features that make pulling it similar, such as a set chain height from the sledge base, set chain length and weight classes that have become commonplace in most New Zealand tractor pulling events now, including the National finals at Fieldays. Tractorpull involves tractors from small to large, and a large tractor naturally will pull more than a small one. So entrants are placed in one of five weight classes, 0-6T, 6-8T, 8-10T, 10-12T and 12-15T as a comparative ‘ranking’ amongst these classes will always be subjective, and ultimately tie calibrations into a knot. Weight classes eliminate this and lines New Zealand up with the rest of the world, where this set of rules have run for many years.

So as the band sung on into the night, class winners were eventually found. Jordon Sinton showed he is all Class on a Deere, taking the six-tonne prize home, Sam Switzer took out the eight-tonne class in one of two well-presented Valtras, and Iain Lillington taking the hotly contested 10-tonne section in the Jackson Contracting T7.250. Mathew Carey then got the Fendt 930 over the line to take the 12-tonne title and Hayden Webster taking the 15-tonne (Monster) class out with the T8.330.

Ohaupo Tractorpull proved a great practice run also for a few of the modified and pre-’85 guys, with Paul Mathews again taking out that prize, and Bill Reymer the modified in the recently (dulux) overhauled 3655.

Tractor _Pull3

National Fieldays was next up and as usual, the list of entries was impressive. Fifty-eight tractors were entered in the weight adjusted competition, and 65 in total in the weight transfer. Fieldays is, of course, the only event in New Zealand to run two competitions side-by-side, with the traditional weight adjusted races running on the outside two lanes.

This year Fieldays made a change to move the tractorpull track from its traditional spot, where it has been for 41 years by gate 1, to a new spot by the river, next to the fencing. The move paying off as public and competitors agreeing, “This is much better”. The track is lower down than before so makes for an awesome spectacle, and is much more in its natural element nestled down beside the tractor exhibitors.

Modifieds and pre-’85 tractors again had a strong showing, keeping the crowd entertained during the morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea breaks. Last year’s champion Karl Steiner handing controls over to daughter Cassie who took out the under-four tonne class on the Ford, while the over-four tonne convincingly won by the Reymer Ag team on the 3655. Kevin Mounsey again also showing the big green machine, JD 4840, was by no means past it’s used by date taking the pre-’85 class.

Weight transfer winners

  • 0 to 6T: Bill Reymer MF 5460
  • 6 to 8T: Shawn Luxton JD 6170R
  • 8 to10T: Zac Walling Fendt 824
  • 10 to 12T: Kelvin Old Fendt822
  • 12 to 15T: Hayden Webster – who also took out the overall WT competition prize, being nearly ten metres clear of the rest, a truly stunning effort.

The weight-adjusted (tractor racing) competition was also a real spectacle this year, with many larger tractors simply struggling to pull the weight on the new track, which had a larger clay composition. So it was the year of the small tractors and experience, with Bill Reymer, and winner Wally Sinton meeting up in the finals. Bill and Wally are arguably the two most experienced entrants (no I didn’t say oldest) with the two smallest tractors – a MF 5460 and JD 6430, so I will leave it up to you to decide if it was luck of tractor choice – or experience – that won the day. Wally was absolutely stoked to take out the win, after many years of competing. Bill won the first of the two heats in the faster lane, but couldn’t hang on as they crossed the line. Even Bill’s mum having his lunch ready for him at the finish line wasn’t enough to get him down the track any faster. Shawn Luxton and Kelvin Lillington came in a respectful third and fourth in larger tractors, showing that good attention-to-detail and tractor set-up makes all the difference.

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