NZ shearing legend Forde launches world titles run at 51

Doug Laing October 24, 2016
NZ shearing legend Darin Forde. Picture - Shearing Sports NZ.

NZ shearing legend Darin Forde. Picture – Shearing Sports NZ.

FORMER world record and national New Zealand national circuit shearing champion Darin Forde showed he had lost none of his touch as he scored two big triumphs in just 24 hours last week.

Last Friday the 51-year-old former world record holder and four-times national circuit champion snatched a chance of reaching a second World Championships when he was fifth in the Royal Agricultural and Pastoral Show of New Zealand’s Great Raihania Shears Open final and crept into the final of Shearing Sports New Zealand’s 2017 championships selection series.

On the way home, he stopped at North Canterbury to win the Northern A and P Show’s Open final at Rangiora. He is pictured on Stand 1 in the final at Hastings.

Based mainly in the Winton area and now living in Lornville, Invercargill, Forde has been out of the winners’ circle more than two years. His next most recent successes had been four mainly smaller show wins in the 2013-2014 season in which he was third in national multi-breed competitions the PGG Wrightson National Circuit final in Masterton and the New Zealand Shears Circuit final in Te Kuiti, as well as the South Island Shearer of the Year.

Going to Hastings for the sixth and final points round in the selection series, and running seventh in the race for the six places in the final in Christchurch next month, Forde showed real determination to become the second of two Southland shearers still in the race for a place at the 2017 World Championships in Invercargill on February 8-11.

Fifth in the heats, and fourth in the semi-finals, Forde did all he had to do to win the necessary points by finishing fifth in the final, in which the series favourites, 2014 World Champion Rowland Smith and fellow 2014 teammate and fellow Hawke’s Bay shearer John Kirkpatrick were first and second.

Ultimately Forde’s survival in the series came at the expense of third Southland hope Troy Pyper, who having recently had carpal tunnel surgery was eliminated in the semi-final and missed the series cut by a point. He would have claimed the sixth series berth on a countback of best placings had the pair finished in a tie on points.

It wasn’t any easier today at Rangiora where Forde had to beat current New Zealand transtasman team member Tony Coster and former World Championships shearer Grant Smith, both of Rakaia.

Heading the other shearing winners in the Great Raihania Shears shearing events was Woodville shearer Tegwyn Bradley, winning the senior title from fellow first-season seniors Paraki Puna and Ricci Stevens, both of Napier.

Porangahau’s Anaru Wakefield won the Intermediate title, after a time points error had initially given the title to first-time finalist Nick Tuapata, of Hastings, and Cullum Pritchard, 18, of Pongaroa scored his first Junior victory.

At Rangiora, Chilean World Championships entrant Luis Pincol scored his second senior title in a week, while Intermediate final was won by Sarah Higgins, of Havelock, and the Junior title by James Webster, of Christchurch.

Source: Shearing Sports New Zealand.


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