PLOUGHING CHAMPS: Top Aussie ploughers head for Colac district

Three-time national ploughing champion and Cape Otway resident Shayne Neal will be at Bungador this weekend with ploughers from across Victoria competing for a spot in next month’s National Championship at Warncoort.

Three-time national ploughing champion and Cape Otway resident Shayne Neal will be at Bungador this weekend with ploughers from across Victoria competing for a spot in next month’s National Championship at Warncoort.

THE state’s best ploughers will travel to Colac district this weekend for the Victorian Ploughing Championships.

The ploughers will travel to Speedway Road, Bungador, to compete in the championships on Saturday and Sunday.

And they will return next month for the National Championships at Warncoort homestead Tarndwarncoort.

Three-time national champion and Cape Otway resident Shayne Neal said hosting the event was great for the region and he was looking forward to showcasing the event to residents.

Mr Neal said Victoria hosted the nationals every three years and the Colac district, Gippsland and Ballarat ploughing associations rotated hosting duties.

Ploughers from the three areas will compete in this weekend’s state competition to receive one of seven spots in the national event.

Competition ploughers use tractors to plough a 100-metre-by-20-metre section of paddock over three hours, and judges score the plots based on straightness, uniformity and neatness of the ploughing and whether there is any weed showing.

Mr Neal said this year could be challenging with dry weather playing a part in ploughing difficulty.

“The dry weather changes it a lot, the soil condition plays a big part in how you plough and the weather has a

big part in that,” Mr Neal said.

“A fairly large downpour should mean the water is soaked in enough and make a very nice area to plough,” he said.

“Generally we like a nice moisture content, it does a much better job, it holds it together and doesn’t break away, it looks clean.”

Mr Neal travelled to Denmark last year for the World Ploughing Championships and will travel to England in September for this year’s competition after winning the past three Australian national titles.

He said the weekend’s competition would feature a traditional ploughing method, mouldboard ploughing and the Len Clark Vintage Challenge.

Mr Neal said the vintage challenge would showcase “beautiful traditional machines”.

Competition will start on Saturday at 11am and 10.30am on Sunday and ploughing should be complete at 2.30pm on both days.

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