Unique 'four-women' shearing record bid underway in North Island woolshed

University graduate, Marlborough shearer and contractor Sarah Higgins, one of the four women attempting a World record tomorrow at Waihi-Pukawa, near Turangi. She was pictured shearing at Waimate in October.
University graduate, Marlborough shearer and contractor Sarah Higgins, one of the four women attempting a World record tomorrow at Waihi-Pukawa, near Turangi. She was pictured shearing at Waimate in October. Photo credit: Supplied/Shearing Sports NZ

Four women shearers are on target in their bid for a unique world record of shearing 2000 lambs in nine hours in a central North Island woolshed.

The four-stand women's 9-hours strong wool lamb shearing record challenge is underway at Waihi-Pukawa Station, near Turangi.

The attempt started at 5am and ends at 5pm, with the standard format of two hours' shearing to breakfast, followed by four runs of 1hr 45mins separated by two 30-minute morning and afternoon breaks and an hour for lunch.

If successful, it will be the first multi-stand record since mother-and-daughter Marg and Ingrid Bayne's did a two-stand record 11 years ago, and the first by any greater number of women in 41 years.

There is no current four-stand women's record under World Sheep Shearing Record Society rules formulated in the mid-1980s.

Organiser and former solo record holder Jills Angus Burney said shearers Sarah Higgins, Megan Whitehead, Natalya Rangiawha, and Amy Silcock, were capable of a combined total exceeding 2000, an average of 500 lambs each.

Burney said 2300 lambs had been selected, and in a sample wool-weigh shear on Wednesday before the judges, an average of about 1.3kg wool per lamb was expected, comfortably ahead of the 0.9kg requirement.

The shearers had started physically preparing more than six months ago, although a replacement had had to be brought in after the withdrawal of injured shearer Helga Sinclair.

Canadian shearer Pauline Bolay shore a solo women's eight-hour record of 510 in Waikato in December.

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