South Australian shearer Tom Brewer excels at world shearing titles

Nick Jeffrey. February 9, 2017
Naracoorte shearer Tom Brewer at Invercargill. Picture - Flick Wingfield.

Naracoorte shearer Tom Brewer at Invercargill. Picture – Flick Wingfield.

SOUTH Australian shearer Tom Brewer has made one of the first finals to be contested at the 40th World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Invercargill this week.

The Naracoorte shearer is one of four overseas shearers to make the six-man final of the Southland All Nations Intermediate machine shearing championship which will be one of the first finals to decided at Invercargill. It is Tom’s first world championships, although he has competed at the Golden Shears in Masterton, New Zealand, for the past two years.

The intermediate final will be shorn at the end of the third day on Friday night, along with five other finals in the open-entry All Nations championships which double as a chance for nationally-selected world championships competitors to prepare in New Zealand conditions and for hundreds of shearing and woolhandling supporters to share in the action.

The intermediate finalists, after 12 shore in this morning’s semi-finals, are headed by Welsh shearer John James, with compatriot and the top qualifier from the first-day heats Jonny Rees, surviving to got another round and qualifying in fifth place. The others from overseas are Australian Tom Brewer and English shearer George Olof. Both James and Olof have won lower grade events in New Zealand competition.

All Nations Intermediate Heats (4 sheep, top six to final on Friday): John James (Wales) 7min 21.981sec, 29.349pts, 1; Tom Brewer (Australia) 8min 23.912sec, 31.946pts, 2; Brandon Maguire-Ratima (Winton) 8min 31.756sec, 32.338pts, 3; Mitchell Murray (Amberley) 7min 3.612sec, 33.181pts, 4; Jonny Rees (Wales) 8min 6.871sec, 33.181pts, 5; George Olof (England) 7min 42.429sec, 34.121pts, 6.

Jason Wingfield at Invercargill. Picture - Flick Wingfield.

Jason Wingfield at Invercargill. Picture – Flick Wingfield.

In the open shearing final, Jason Wingfield will represent Australia in a field dominated by New Zealanders. South Australian shearer Shannon Warnest failed to qualify.

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South African’s dominate blade shearing event

Victorian blade shearer Ken French at Invercargill. Picture - Flick Wingfield.

Victorian blade shearer Ken French at Invercargill. Picture – Flick Wingfield.

VICTORIAN blade shearer Ken French was the only Australian to make the final of the Southland All Nations blade shearing championship in Invercargill.

South Africa’s blade shearing team showed its class in the semi-finals of the Southland All Nations blade event in Invercargill today on the second day of the four-day 40th World shearing and woolhandling championships.

Clearly beaten by New Zealander hope Tony Dobbs in the heats on Wednesday, Bangani Joel (pictured) and Meyenzeke Shweni turned the tables in the semi-finals, made themselves favourites for tomorrow’s All Nations final and the World Blade Shearing Championship, which starts with the first round heats also tomorrow.

Australia’s champion blade shearer Johnny Dalla and his national teammate Ken French made it made it through to the blade shearing semi-finals, and after the semi heats, he was ranked fifth overall, giving him a finals berth. Dalla missed out by less than 0.1 point. Fellow Australian blade shearer Richie Foster didn’t make the semi.

Johnny said he wasn’t looking too far into the future, focusing most on the first of two rounds in the world championships blade shearing heats tomorrow.

“One step at a time,” he said.

South African blade shearer Bangani Joel.

South African blade shearer Bangani Joel. Picture – Pete Nikolaison.

Joel, a world blade shearing tally record holder, headed the qualifiers, although defending world champion Shweni was fastest with in the semis with a time of just over 9min 7sec for the three sheep, compared with third-placed Dobbs’ 10min 24sec.

Dobbs, who headed the qualifiers after Wednesday’s heats with a margin of almost seven points was more than seven points in arrears of Joel on today’s stage.

Points are, however; not carried through, with each stage effectively being another event, similar to sprints at the Olympics.

Results of the Southland All Nations blade shearing semi-finals (3 sheep each, six shearers to finals): Bangani Joel (South Africa) 9min 43.976pts, 1; Mayenzeke Shweni (South Africa) 9min 7.257sec, 42.363pts, 2; Tony Dobbs (Fairlie) 10min 24.841sec, 48.242pts, 3; Phil Oldfield (Geraldine) 11min 44.72sec, 50.236pts, 4; Ken French (Australia) 12min 22.149sec, 53.107pts, 5; Allen Gemmell (Rangiora) 11min 30.556sec, 55.528pts, 6.

World title events nearly sold-out

Championships organisers announced today a near sell-out of the last two nights on Friday and Saturday in Invercargill.

Event media manager Nick Jeffrey said while tickets were available for tonight’s world championship speedshear, tomorrow night is sold out and barely 100 tickets remain available for the finals night, which with extra tiered seating brought into the ILT Stadium Southland stadium will boost the crowd for the showdown to over 4000.

Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman and five-times world individual champion Sir David Fagan said if someone had asked two years ago if he thought he’d ever see 4000 at a shearing event in New Zealand he would have said “No!”

“I think we have totally under-estimated the impact this venue would have on the whole event.

“It all comes down to the profile drawn to the event by those in Invercargill, including the Invercargill City Council and organisers who’ve made the event happen with more than 4500 sheep and competitor numbers boosted to over 300 with the inclusion of the associated Southland All Nations events,” he said.

“This is absolutely brilliant.

“The ILT Stadium Southland has made it the best event ever.”

Source: Nick Jeffrey and Flick Wingfield, 40th World Shearing and Woolhandling championships.


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