you to our Major Sponsor for this Event Heiniger and Reps, Ross Paton and Phil Jones
PRESS RELEASE – 24/10/05
A West Australian-based shearer pushed recognition for his craft through the roof at the weekend when he set two new world shearing records on consecutive days.
Shearing under intense public, media and judicial scrutiny at the big three-day Bendigo Show (Victoria) 31-year-old Dwayne Black lifted the official eight hour crossbred lamb shearing record from 471 to 519 and busted his own existing world
speedshear record for removing the fleece from a single strongwool ewe by 3.17 seconds.
Black, who is based at Esperance in Western Australia, now holds an unprecedented seven official world shearing records.
He broke new ground last weekend when he chose to bring his sheep shearing “extreme sport” attempts from the traditional shearing shed into a public arena like the Bendigo Show.
Shearing in the $4.27million exhibition centre at the show, before a crowd of up to 20,000 people over the two days, Black achieved his two-fold goal – lifting world records upwards, and widened the profile of shearers from tradesmen to athletes.
The event organiser was Black’s father Peter, an internationally acknowledged shearer training and coaching expert. He was delighted with the result and the public response over the weekend.
“Shearing, and world records were presented professionally,” Peter Black said. “It ensured the general public realise top class shearers are extremely fit, healthy, intelligent and determined athletes who deserve more respect than they get.”
Recruiting new young people to take up shearing as a career is a well-recognised problem for the industry said Peter Black. More people needed
heroes and icons, as well as to be encouraged to take it up he said.
Dwayne Black has set four shearing records in the past 13 months. In April he became the first person to move a record between countries when he shore in Western Australia to break Dion Morrell’s merino ewe record set in New Zealand.
His audacious attack on shearing records even has hardened shearers taking notice – no one has ever held more than three world records at one time. In the shearing world there exists an acknowledgement of anyone who “has a go” at a record, regardless of their outcome. The physical and mental toll of such attempts is accepted as very high so lining up for more than one in a year is almost unheard of.
There was drama at the exhibition centre for Black’s first attempt when he took on his own single strongwool record of 45.41 secs set in the studio of the Guinness World Record TV show in Sydney in June.
He shore the first of his two Border Leicester breed ewes in 34 seconds. This time there were more TV cameras rolling, a large audience watching. The official World Speedshear committee referees (two from Victoria, Australia, one from NZ) passed his shearing quality and confirmed the time. Then came the fleece weigh-in. In order for the record to be official, the ewe fleece had to be a minimum of three kgs. There was dismay everywhere when the scales showed Black’s fleece fell 200 grams short of the mark.
Under extreme pressure, he shore the second (and final one available under the rules) ewe in 42.24 seconds. This fleece weighed 3.9 kgs so the new mark was set.
The eight hour attempt at Victorian Trevor Bacon’s crossbred (half merino and half strong wool breed) lamb record of 471, set in 2002, was made by Dwayne Black on Saturday.
Making sure there was strict adherence to the world shearing record rules were two judges from NSW and one from New Zealand.
Black’s tallies for the four two hour runs were 131, 131, 128 and 129.
Black’s intensely loyal support team included the two people whose record-day jobs put them physically closest to him as he toils. A top Western Australian woolhandler, Deb Chandler, ensures all the wool shorn off stays out of his way, and is correctly sorted.
And Black’s “second” and mentor is former New Zealand Golden Shears champion and world record holder Edsel Forde. Forde, stopwatches in hand, has been on hand at each record to ensure maximum efficiency, timing and to talk Black through the tough times in his head.
Dwayne Black’s exploits as a shearing athlete have attracted widespread media interest this year. For example last weekend’s efforts were covered by WIN TV and a programme made during the weekend for ABC Landline will screen on the programme on Sunday October 30th.
Dwayne Black was a guest on Good Morning Australia with Bert Newton last Thursday and profiles on him have appeared in magazines like Inside Sport, FHM, and Outback.
The majority of the considerable cost for each record attempt have been covered by Black’s friends and family and a small number of sponsors.
Dwayne’s sponsors include Top Gun Shearing
supplies, which sells clothing and other shearing
Other sponsors include Potaka-Osborne Shearing,
Henderson Shearing, Tasman
Local Esperance business sponsors include, SoilsPlus, Xanadu
Farm, Matthews Enterprises, Topsigns