Rocky racers ready to mow down rivals at nationals
MOWER RACING: Paul Reeves says he is nervous and excited as he prepares to compete in his first All Australian Ride-On Mower Racing Championships this weekend.
He is among four locals from the Rowdy Racing Australia team who have made the 1700km trip south to Griffith for a shot at a national title.
There are nine Rockhampton racers among the 18 Queensland entries.
Reeves has nominated in D-grade, his stepson Nathan Smith in C-grade and Jay Wilkins in B-grade, while Les Beckman will be out to defend the A-grade national title he won on his home track at Yaamba last year.
Reeves has been racing mowers for about 12 months, previously involved in the sport as a member of Smith's pit crew.
"Nathan bought another mower so I started racing his old mower. I really liked it so I bought it and it's all gone from there,” he said.
Reeves goes into the national titles in good form, having won C-grade and the B, C and D-grade all-in final in Round 4 of Queensland Interclub Championships last month.
He is intent on continuing that good form at Griffith. While he knows it won't be easy, he is confident the Rocky quartet will put in a strong showing.
"It's a big thing, competing at the nationals. I think the competition is going to very stiff,” Reeves said.
"They've got about 70 racers nominated overall and they seem to be more competitive down that way so we will certainly have our work cut out for us.”
The four racers said they were grateful for the support of their sponsors - Lee Briskey Mechanical, Cheetham Salt Bajool, Ben's Plastering, Dion's Mechanical Services, Stickit Creations, Aligned Chiropractic, Wilko's Model House and CQ Ute Canopies.
As well as the adrenaline rush of racing, Reeves loves the camaraderie and great sportsmanship.
And while he admits some of his mates joke about his involvement in mower racing, they quickly get an appreciation for it when they come and watch him in action.
"A few of my mates laugh about it, asking me to come around and mow their yard in a hurry, but once they realise what's involved and just how fast the mowers can go they get interested and some of them even come out to watch,” he said.
Competitors at the nationals will have practice tomorrow afternoon before competition starts in earnest on Saturday morning.